Three Poems | Yogesh Maitreya

Ontology of Our Language 

Naturally, when the placenta is cut

The child is separated from mother

However this isn't the case with us

We are never separated from our mother

Only those who fed on surplus

Grow up, separated from mother

We grow up inheriting the sound of her pain

The sound which never reached the fate

Of a language on paper

Our handsome Bodhisattva taught us:

Not talking to one’s mother is a horrible form of

Alienation from our existence

Therefore we understood:

Mother tongue is essentially the sound

We inherit when inside her abdomen

Language is a just a suitable rendition

Of that sound

My grandfather had a hammer

My father had the steering wheel

I have a pen

But we have been writing the same language

The language of our mother

Missing from the history of our existence

Questioning Your Feminism 

By those immaculate efforts

Of our handsome Bodhisattva

We both have acquired

The privilege of reading and writing

In our country

Where our ancestors were invisibilized

In the pages of history

Then we entered

Into white-collar professions

You married to a Brahmin man

I married to a Brahmin girl

We both have begotten children

You did his Mundan and

Performed Satyanarayana's Puja

I recited Pancheel at the birthday

Of my girl child

Later as your child grew up

He voted for the religion

My girl voted for principles

Of course, his candidate won

Tell me

In what theory of feminism

I should understand

The politics of womb

In Caste society?

The Caste Mode of Production 

Son: Father, I want to learn Sanskrit and make a career in it

Father: Are you stupid? Sanskrit is outdated

Son: But you have learnt it and told me that it's a sacred language

Father: Are you stupid? It is for others not for us

Son: Why is this so?

Father: Because, no one speaks it; which means it has no value

Son: But you said it’s the language of gods

Father: Are you stupid? Language of god is not understood by common people

Hence it has no significance and market among people

Son: Then what should I do?

Father: Learn German or English. It’ll fetch you lots of money

Son: And what to do with Sanskrit?

Father: Don’t waste your time over useless things

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