Essay On Neem Tree In Marathi Poem
Bombay makes me a beggar.
Kalyan gave me a lump of juggery to suck,
in a small village that had a waterfall
but no name
my blanket found a buyer
and I feasted on just plain ordinary water.
I arrived in Nasik with
peeple leaves between my teeth.
There I sold my Tukaram
to buy myself some bread and mince.
When I turned off Agra road,
one of my chappals gave up the ghost.
I gave myself a good bath
in a little stream.
I knocked on the first door I came upon.
Asked for a handout and left the village.
I sat down under a tree,
hungry no more but thirsty like never before.
I gave my name etcetera
to a man in a bullock cart
who hated beggers and quoted Tukaram,
but who, when we got to his farm later,
was kind enough to give me
a cool drink of water.
Then came Rotegao
where I went on trial
and I had to drag the carcass away
when howling all night
a dog died in the temple
where I was trying to get some sleep.
There I got bhakri to eat alright
but a woman was pissing.
I didn’t see her in the dark
and she just blew up.
Bhakri you want motherfucker you blind
cunt, she said,
I’ll give you bhakri.
I could smell molasses boiling up in a field.
I asked for some sugarcane to eat.
I shat on daisies
and wiped my arse with neem leaves.
I found a beedee lying on the road
and put it in my pocket.
It was walk walk and walk all the way.
It was a year of famine,
I saw a dead bullock,
I crossed a hill,
I picked up a small coin
from a temple on top of that hill.
Kopargao is a big town.
That’s where I read that Stalin was dead.
Kopargao is a big town
where it seemed shameful to beg.
And I had to knock on five doors
to get half a handful of rice.
Dust in my beard, dust in my hair.
The sun like a hammer on the head.
An itching arse.
A night spent on flagstones.
My tinshod hegira
was hotting up.
The station two miles ahead of me,
the town three miles behind,
I stopped to straighten the dhoti
that had bunched up in my crotch
when sweat stung my eyes
and I could see.
A low fence by the roadside.
A clean swept yard.
A hut. An old man.
A young woman in a doorway.
I asked for some water
and cupped my hands to receive it.
Water dripping down my elbows
I looked at the old man.
The goodly beard.
The contentment that showed in his eyes.
The cut up can of kerosene
that lay prostrate before him.
A bhakri arrived, unbidden,
with an onion for a companion.
I ate it up.
I picked up the haversack I was sitting on.
I thought about it for a mile or two.
But I knew already
that it was time to turn around.
Temperature Normal; Pulse, Respiration Satisfactory
i lean back in the armchair
and bombay sinks
the level of the balcony parapet rises
and the city is submerged
the terraces the chimneys the watertanks the
the whole city
i look at what remains
my eyes take up the slack of the twilit sky
i count a crow and three sparrows
each flying according to its light
i stretch my legs
i put my feet up on the parapet
i hear a cheeping sound
i see a sparrow
is there a connection
i am afraid i do not know
this cross i make of my own two feet
floats on the fast horizon
Come climb on me.
Go right up,
all the way to the top.
Wrap yourself around me.
Crawl up and down
and all over me.
Want to trip me up?
give it a try.
Put your arms around my neck,
Or strangle me
with your legs.
Come on, do your worst.
Oh, I just love it!
Let’s have some more of that thunder
I want to hear it one more time.
And a little louder please, if you don’t mind.
Send your thunderbolts
on my bald soul.
That felt good, you know.
A wig of lightening! For me?
Have you done your worst?
here I stand,
the same as ever I was
and firmly rooted to the ground
like an exercise pole in an Indian gym.
But an exercise pole
made of steel, shall we say?
Because I’m a good lightening conductor,
And if nothing else,
at least I hope you had a good workout.
Beware of the old newspapers
on that little three legged stool over there.
Don’t disturb them.
I know it for a fact
that snakes have spawned in between these
Don’t even look in that direction.
It’s not because of breeze
that their corners are fluttering.
It’s alive, that nest of newspapers.
New born snakes, coiling and uncoiling,
are turning their heads to look at you.
That white corner has spread its hood.
A forked tongue
shoots out of its mouth.
Keep your eyes closed.
Get rid of the whole goddamn pile if you
in the morning.
Felling of the Banyan Tree
Felling of the Banyan Tree :
My father told the tenants to leave
Who lived on the houses surrounding our house on the hill
One by one the structures were demolished
Only our own house remained and the trees
Trees are sacred my grandmother used to say
Felling them is a crime but he massacred them all
The sheoga, the oudumber, the neem were all cut down
But the huge banyan tree stood like a problem
Whose roots lay deeper than all our lives
My father ordered it to be removed
The banyan tree was three times as tall as our house
Its trunk had a circumference of fifty feet
Its scraggy aerial roots fell to the ground
From thirty feet or more so first they cut the branches
Sawing them off for seven days and the heap was huge
Insects and birds began to leave the tree
And then they came to its massive trunk
Fifty men with axes chopped and chopped
The great tree revealed its rings of two hundred years
We watched in terror and fascination this slaughter
As a raw mythology revealed to us its age
Soon afterwards we left Baroda for Bombay
Where there are no trees except the one
Which grows and seethes in one’s dreams, its aerial roots
Looking for the ground to strike.
Dilip Chitre (1938) was born in Baroda. He writes poetry both in Marathi and English. Travelling in a Cage, from which the poem selected here has been taken, was published in 1980. Apart from poetry, Chitre has also written short stories and critical essays. An Anthology of Marathi Poetry 1945–1965 is one of his most important works of translation. He sees poetry as an expression of the spirit. He lives and works in Mumbai.
The word POETRY originates from a Greek word meaning TO MAKE. A poet is thus a maker and the poem something that is made or created. No single definition of poetry is possible but some characteristic features of poetry may be mentioned. Poetry has a musical quality with rhythm, pitch, metre and it may use figures of speech such as simile and metaphor. While quite a few poems in this selection are in traditional forms, the unit also includes modern poems that are free from formal restrictions.