Basandhaari

Basandhaari

the loyal-Dalit supine

the cow herder

penitent by way of birth

prostrates himself

before his benevolent Thakur.

His supplication to his Thakur’s

honour, knotted so deftly together

that his arched back will

perhaps never straighten

enough to loosen that knot

in his back. What can we do?

The benevolent Rajputs can

argue, if the Act is too

biased towards people

like him- Basandhaari

who squats on the road

while we sip tea

on plastic red chairs,

wondering if he ever

takes a bath.

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