Bijay Kant Dubey
The Mahout, The Bearman And The Monkeyman - Poem by Bijay Kant Dubey
All were busy in becoming landlords, courtiers and king’s men,
All busy in pleasing the king and the king’s men,
The sycophants and courtiers,
The bards too lost in eulogizing.
None took the pains to record in history, historiography and museumology,
None posed to be a curator,
A history-writer writing the history of man and the world,
The pains of taming and training wild elephants,
None strove to know it,
The art of keeping, looking after the gigantic animals,
Like the huge chunks of stone
The bearman with the black-black bears,
Hairy and sniffing,
Hairy, nailed and fluffy,
And the man in the hold of the bears,
Roaming the town ways and lanes.
The monkeyman with the small-small red-mouthed monkeys
Going the ways,
But we know it not their history of keeping,
Training the wild chattering, gnashing the teeth and winking monkeys,
Glare not into their eyes
Otherwise the trouble may brew.
We do not know the pains of rearing animals,
The experiences of hunters lying in wait on machans,
As for a vigilance and a watch
On the prowl and movement of the wild animals.
Exotic India of exotic flora and fauna
Had been really impregnable and wayless,
The hills and dense forests used to be barriers
In meeting one people from another,
From one province to another,
But we recorded it not all.
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