Recalling The Flood Of 1987-Gajendra Thakur

Original Poem in Maithili by Gajendra Thakur Translated into English by Jyoti Jha Chaudhary

Jyoti Jha Chaudhary, Date of Birth: December 30 1978,Place of Birth- Belhvar (Madhubani District), Education: Swami Vivekananda Middle School, Tisco Sakchi Girls High School, Mrs KMPM Inter College, IGNOU, ICWAI (COST ACCOUNTANCY); Residence- LONDON, UK; Father- Sh. Shubhankar Jha, Jamshedpur; Mother- Smt. Sudha Jha- Shivipatti. Jyoti received editor's choice award from www.poetry.comand her poems were featured in front page of for some period.She learnt Mithila Painting under Ms. Shveta Jha, Basera Institute, Jamshedpur and Fine Arts from Toolika, Sakchi, Jamshedpur (India). Her Mithila Paintings have been displayed by Ealing Art Group at Ealing Broadway, London.

Gajendra Thakur (b. 1971) is the editor of Maithili ejournal “Videha” that can be viewed at . His poem, story, novel, research articles, epic – all in Maithili language are lying scattered and is in print in single volume by the title “KurukShetram.” He can be reached at his email:

Recalling The Flood Of 1987

The Kamala had been crossed by walking
Though the Balan river by boat
But what a disaster was that day
The water overflowing between boundaries
Would submerge all surrounding for sure
Startled with their treacherous characters
Mocking the new theory of Science

How could the nature levee the stream?
It was turned super arduous

Generating fear in heart
Had witnessed in village
Through the groves and orchards
A stream used to flow
Draining water was not knotty

The new scientists closed
All draining streams

The gate to drain the overflow in dam
Was blocked with sand
Used to roam on one foot
Seeking dry narrow paths
Only the paths used to be dry
Now dried out all around

The Silli, Neelgai – all disappeared
The spines of hedgehogs
Not available for rituals
The food kept in Judi Shital
Left lying under the tree,
A week passed
No wild animal came to grab
The ants’ queue was thou’ inevitable

The interesting talks of the engineers
Heard standing on the wall
How could the stream turn so gigantic?
That used to be crossed on feet

The practicability of the new science
Would be so much in vain, I never realised
It was disgraced by the sugarcanes
Standing lonely in the flood
The water became tawny and trees pure green
Downpour over the roofs
Roofs being washed away

Rugged in several places
Water dripping inside
Reservoir of rice and paddy
The flow carried away all

Helicopters dropped chuda and jiggery
Where land was not submerged
Dropping food in flood was a waste
Crowd following helicopters
Old and young with empty stomach

That old man is eating chuda and jiggery
Crying over death of son and daughter in law
Would not fulfil the hunger

Son of a BDO was my friend
Called the government greedy
His father was posted in Shunting
A slyly demotion to Jhanjharpur from Giridih

But their good luck turned the tide
Posting was resettled because of flood

I thought only my fate was bad
Saturn was down and Saraswati was about to beg
Reached village, Pappu Bhai was upset
Planning development, diverting flow, draining

The relief announced by the government
Every now and then
One bag of crop for victims of flood
The block employees stole 15 kilo from each bag
Pappu Bhai, you are a real fool
Why to count teeth of a free bullock?
(Why to mind quality of a free thing)
You didn’t get even that last time

Scene after a week or more

Some went to Mumbai some to Delhi
Women and children were left in village
All took pledge to work
Whether selling vegetables or lifting loads
Mother wishes to have concrete roof
Cottages of hays and tiles after fire
Bakhari was made again when divided

Thank God, in flood, houses disappeared
Now I would make a firm house, oh dear

The concrete houses were filled all over
One could see everywhere, stack of bricks
All old corners were lost
Where we brothers used to play hide and seek

And now see the government’s action
I improved my financial condition in the Mehath only
The government called the village
A role model in the entire block
You say that I earned in Delhi and Mumbai!

Now listen to me
If the government would be changing
Neither Mumbai nor Delhi would exist
The condition of Vijaynagaram
Is well known to the historians

Your good fate lies in making me win always
Putting effort to progress is your work
Just keep problems by me away

Flood came in 1987
Saw the destruction but I say
Just see the conveying people

Lucky to get entertained by you
The fair is not seen anywhere
Hukkaloli is Diwali
The mud of Judisheetal is Holi
Then how can following you be faulty

I am also in Delhi- Mumbai for earning
You are good at least in
Not leaving the village
You entertain, earn and eat
And also visit Delhi and Mumbai.


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