Kashikant Mishra Madhup (1906-87)
Original Maithili song "Ghasal Athanni" translated into English by GAJENDRA THAKUR
Worn- out fifty paise coin
Noon of Jyeshtha month,
With all his twelve mouths vomiting fire-ball
Up-stooping The Sun
Burning the three worlds aflaming
Violent western wind
The san-san-san sound of it
Like fire particle
Anguished blowing the dust.
The birds in nest, composed
Not shaking the wings
Not opening the eyes
Under the tree Animals puffing with tearful eyes
The herdsman went home unwillingly
Pond water turns hot
The water and land habitants tremble
The surrounded husk-bamboo enclosures, doors, windows of houses shut
No wayfarer to be seen on road
Will the world create the nature
Having Big bellies
Relaxing supported on big cushions,
Making and filtering Sherbet
Sugar-candy, nut and ice mixed
Beneath the dancing electric-fan
They too peace starved asking –Hari! Hari!
What to tell about the Living
The shadow also asking for shadow
The noon of Jyeshtha-month!
Though at this time
Even then Buchni Left the courtyard of house
Is digging the field of Landowner
What can do the poor-women!
Having been beaten by the lord-of-bad-fate, through all the eight portions of day-night
The widow without family without any standing
Only child of six months
The hope for future
Who is weeping beside the road adjacent to the field
How can she console him?
Even the blood within her is in scarcity
Then how the milk will come out?
After fasting three times in a row (of morning-evening)
Became labourer @ fifty paise
From sunrise to sunset
Will do work
Will not get even the labourer’s breakfast!
World now fearless
The moon rose with compassion
By cold light did the universe ecstatic
The cow caring for her child raced by echoing hukara-sound
The sound of bell
The smoke coming out of houses
Even that time starved-thirsty Buchni
Bosom drawn covering his son with saree
Torn faded clothes
The bones coming out
The beauty burnt, marked by poverty
Fearing for being burnt by the fire of hunger
The youth of her fled as soon as it came
Even more than that of riped betel-leaf
Yellowish and thin body
Cracked and split lips
Eyes like mango cut to size
In the ditch is whose ill-fate-thief
Bitch-anxiety stepping to the tip of saree
Burning her body
Every moment oh! Hope becoming fireball
“give some grain-water” whose life
Speaking through treachery of tear
That becoming helpless
Telling with fear somehow
With folded hands:
That rubbed fifty-paise coin was not accepted (in market)
I went to all the shops
Please give another fifty-paise coin
I came am only for this
Has become night
Landowner, do not take time
With hunger and thirst I am dying
Buy with that
Will thresh and crush grain
The child is weeping since morning
Restless and taking out my life.
She again came disturbing my forehead
Changing the real fifty-paise coin somehow
Clearly doing mischief
Hey! Hold her neck and push beside
She is witch
See the eyes
Swallowed such person as her master (husband) Budhna when she came
At the time of Goddess LakShmi
doing lending business
Took beside this ill-fated women?
I am not asking debt
Or came for begging
The cultivated labour-charge be given
I am your subject-son
Many times came here
For grain my body starving
The third-class-god not assigns even death to me
What time has come
Ha! Did work with all body-strength
That good-line even then the labour-charge not coming
That’s why this famine in world has appeared
I will not be able to go
When I step up the legs it seems dark in-front
Will die here only
To whom I will tell?
Nobody is my own
The wrong-doing is also the splendor of the powerful
Hey you have no fear?
Many murder I have done and lived
Not even my body-hair got damaged
Long live the Daroga (police-incharge)
Will murder you
Flee women flee
By giving enough wage to labourer
I will put a blemish to my ancestry?
This false-acting do before
I am black-cobra
will she go simply?
The lord of death is dancing over her head
O, what you are looking at my face
That much courage the third-class people will show?
Even more heavy than the heaviest
With slap of Makhna she became helpless
Both mother-son fell on earth
Became senseless she
Even then with anger
By doing heavy-echo
Bhutkanbabu stood roaring:
She is doing false-acting
Bring my stick
What will you know about women’s character?
My whole life dealt with all these.
Stick thrashing on the senseless body
Only once unrecognizable weeping
With child left Buchni this Creation!
With sorrow amidst laughter of Moon
That rubbed-worn-out fifty-paise-coin spoke:
“where should I” go
To get shelter
Who will give?
Worn-out is whose fate!