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 Sanskrit is outdated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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