My Autobiography, The Autobiography Of A Dalit Girl Poem by Bijay Kant Dubey

My Autobiography, The Autobiography Of A Dalit Girl

My Autobiography, The Autobiography of A Dalit Girl

A Dalit girl's autobiography is before you to see, what it is in her life, what not, how she has been eking out a living, how the story of her life which nobody knows it, how is it life in the country, the rural side. Agricultural India's problems we could not feel it. How were our homes and ways? How did we live in as agriculturists, farmers and rural people? A Dalit girl's autobiography will speak the same. Our villages and been as such, our country homes and never could we rise above. But caste and class-based discriminations destroyed it all.
------Bijay Kant Dubey
My autobiography,
The autobiography
Of a Dalit girl
Whom you see it everywhere,
All around you.

A Dalit girl am I,
My name take you
Whatever you like to call me,
By any name
You want to give to me.

Taking juthan,
Baasi roti and bhaat
Grew I up
On stale food
And that too was not available.

A girl child was I
Apart from being a poor girl,
A Dalit kanya
Like the girls
You see it around.

My parents bore me
In a hamlet
Without the bazaar,
The school,
The hospital.

In a small hut,
A mud house
Was I born,
A poor daughter
Without any identity.

My name
You will laugh to hear it,
Kari, Blackie,
Tikli, Bindi Spot,
Titali, Butterfly.

They call me
Bhutahi, Ghostly, Frantic,
Charki, Rural White,
Badki, Eldest,
Cchotki, Youngest.

Call me by any flower name
You like to,
I am that,
I am that,
Champa, Chameli, Beli.

When a child,
I used to weep for food
But when made to understand,
I thought a girl should not
For food.

I had no room to sleep in,
I used to in a hut,
Call it a hut,
A straw-thatched mud house
Without the windows.

We had no utensils,
Just earthen pots,
Earthen pitcher, bowl
And a few aluminium things
For to carry.

When the day used to begin,
I had to help my mother
In wrapping the muddy paste over the floor
And to sweep it,
To bring out the hens from the small shed.

To untie the goats and sheep,
To drive the ducks away to the pond,
To let the hens go for picking cereals,
Small cows to be pegged outside
And after doing that went I washing my hands.

Often in the mornings I used to remain
Without food and breakfast,
Often in the mornings,
No talk to do at all
All all about tea as who would it?

Leaving me alone,
My parents used to go work
Into the fields,
Into other rural homes
And till her return I used to wait.

Till then I used to wait for her return
Looking after my brothers and sisters,
A Dalit girl,
Dalit girl I
Playing into dust and clay.

After her return
We used to take breakfast
If she anything with her
Or if not, we had baasi boiled rice
Of the night time to eat.

Into a poor house
If the members turn out to be drinkers,
It wreaks havoc,
Havoc for the family
And into our homes people often drink.

Take to mahua,
Palm juice,
Rice beer,
And remain fallen by the footpaths,
What more to say it?

A Dalit kanya,
How shall I,
Shall I tell the story,
The story of my life
If we do not have a refined culture?

Poverty is our life,
Hunger the tale of it,
Scarcity and shortage of food
The matter of ours
And we going half-fed, half-clothed.

Our dens
The dens of poverty, hunger, illiteracy,
Ignorance, foolishness,
Superstition, backwardness,
Conspiracies and whispers,
Quarrels and brawls.

I used to graze the cattle,
Used to work as a cattle-grazer,
A goat girl,
A domestic help,
A babysitter.

In the mud house
Sleeping on the floor
And that too without the mat
And the rags
To lay on.

At sunrise
We used to arise and awake,
At moonrise
Used to go to bed
Without the oil lamp burning.

The moonshine
Was our dream and song,
The sunrise at dawn break
Our beginning of bread for life,
We used to live on juthan and baasi things.

We used to collect dry sticks and haystacks,
Dry leaves
As for the earthen woven,
Throwing away the ashes
Lighting after puffing in the embers
And the sparks therein.

The oven, earthen oven used to fume,
Fume and smoke badly
Making the eyes smoky and wet
And I trying to fan the flame
With a palm leaf hand fan.

During the day time
We used to fish and boiled rice gruel,
Roasted fish or cooked fish,
Sometimes crabs cooked,
Local spinach
And fruits.

During the rainy days
We used to collect ripe yellow palms,
During the winter
We used to collect ripe plums,
During the summer, wooden ripe bels.

Into the muck and mire
Grew I up
Cleaning the cowshed,
Fishing into the dirty water bodies,
Collecting mushrooms to sell off.

During the wedding time
We had nothing to wear,
What would he give,
What shall we
Just for the name sake, ritual sake?

How did I weep for cosmetics,
Face powder, beauty stuffs,
Red water colour, ribbon,
Bangles, collyrium,
Hair oil, lip stick, you do not, do not know it?

During the spring
While grazing the cattle
Sometimes we used to pluck flowers,
Wild blooms and fragrant blooms
To play with.

During the spring
We used to collect the mahua buds
For to eat,
Used to pluck fruits
Of other people as for to get some.

When the blackly cuckoo used to sing
From the orchard plot,
I too used to tease, tease the bird
In imitation of,
My notoriety you do not, do not know it!

During the summer
At midnight
We used to run to the orchard plots
In darkness
As for to get ripe mangoes fallen.

When it used to drizzle,
I used to plant the paddy plants,
Into the field of yellow mustard blooms
I used to rollick
Going after the butterflies.

One day when I collected the worn out goggles
From the rag heap
And wore it
It seemed to me
As if I were a heroine with the city boy after me.

One I posed after taking the half-smoked leafy bidi,
Kend-leaf wrapped with tobacco pushed inside
As for some stylistic puffs
And that too as the remnant of a bidi
While sweeping the floor.

My dance you will startle to see it
No less than a heroine,
My joy you do not know it,
How joyous and gleeful am I,
But my life fraught with misery and pathos.

I do not know
Which house shall I fall into,
I an Indian rural girl,
A country woman
With my unstable future?

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