Volume 4: Number 1, May 1 2000
Editorial

Fan Mail

Hum Aapke Hain,
(aur) Kya?

by Vamsee Juluri
Cold Sweat
by Vijay Prashad

Dime a Dance,
Dollar a Day

by Sunaina Maira

Coming to America,
Coming Home

by Sharmila Rudrappa

Chiclete com Masala
by Gautam Premnath

Culture Move: On
Asian Dub Foundation

by John Hutnyk
Free Satpal Ram
Asian Dub Foundation

"I Never Set Out to be
a Cultural Activist":

A Conversation with
Anand Patwardhan

daya and
for Jaimal Singh Padda
by Anand Patwardhan
Progressive,
but Problematic:
An Appreciation
and Critique
of Amartya Sen

by Vamsi Vakulabharanam
and Sripad Motiram
FOIL Notes

Ghadar Home
proXsa Home
 

                        daya
A poem by Anand Patwardhan

for Daya Pawar, 1996
   kindness was your first name and i cannot think
     of any that could better have described you
 when we first met i knew only your most famous poem
 about a construction worker who carried on her back
          the burden of her own mortality
you wrote in the first person and i asked why you’d chosen
a feminine voice and you’d said with a twinkle of pleasure
   that no one had ever asked this before but perhaps
    the answer was that when you wrote of the misery
        of the poor and the oppressed, the image
        that first came to you was of your mother
     in the village you had left, a hundred, perhaps
                a thousand years behind
       now i am comfortable, even happy, you said
         with your sad eyes and your shy smile
   i can eat with you in your house with confidence
        but memories of childhood are never far
          and it is always mother i remember
       we were untouchables then and our shadow
was not permitted to fall on those who considered us such
      father was an alcoholic and mother slaved
    to bring us up and it is she who had no voice
               whose voice i now hear
        as you spoke there was no anger in you
               or trace of self-pity
         only compassion for the suffering
             of a mother who had become
                the whole human race


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