I once again come with this celebration of the iconic Smita Patil, in verse form.



NOTE: I bet not a single work of art has come close to humanising or dignifying the lives of tribals quite like JAIT RE JAIT(WIN WIN), the classic Marathi feature by Jabbar Patel that aesthetically conveyed the Thakar tribe’s sensual connection with nature and way of everyday persistence with such bottomless grace. Only one Smita Patil could deliver by defying expectations of a matinee idol and embody a world completely alien to her own social structure.

So just like I did two years ago, watch this all-time iconic and yet underrated film on YouTube where it is available in HD.



The new order,
issued by Gods of nature,
brought upon us this holy union.
We bathed in the imminence
of a different body language
and waited for the rain.

The leaves are more profuse
and more bountiful
than the flowers,
the monsoon showers like
a release from heaven.
Each drop falls
on our thirsty souls,
like the very act of sublimation.

I tasted the first drops
on my tongue,
saw them mingle with the beads
of sweat on your forehead
and in the wide expanse,
we made love
to nature’s gift of passion.



A dried piece of the fiery red spice
is more akin to a symbol.

the heat charges the head,
the dry ponds make us search
for the water diviner.
But come time for Navratri
and as we behold
wooden sticks clang favourably
with our fiery dispositions,
the legend of Sonbai
commissions the revolution.

She made a run for her life,
a run for the truth of her honour.
She ran,
on her own two blistered feet
and she ran forward,
to reach some conclusive
in order to look back
and burn perverse fires,
more deathly than the desert heat.

This is her ballad,
beginning in the spice factory,
only to end up in the historic annals of time.

NOTE: Navratri is a festival celebrated around the month of October. The dandiya sticks are prominently used to perform the iconic Garba dance, a staple in the Western Indian state of Gujarat as also nationwide.


BAZAAR(1982), MANDI(1983)

In this world,
we are all put on display.
We are all bidders,
players in the game of
seduction and acquisitions.

Some call themselves businessmen.
Others go by more lowly titles.
Some even go deeper into the moral coils of the serpent,
strangulating bodies
with a lust for life
and permanent imprints of sex.

This is how we prey,
how we create an open market
where our penchant for naked flesh
barters innocence,
for a price higher than
the puncture of our souls.

God-swearing mortals
go deeper
than the gravest sinners,
to reach into their coffers,
built on the back of upturned bodies.


MANTHAN (1976)

NOTE: a classic film based on the Milk Revolution, spearheaded by Dr. Varghese Kurien vis a vis the behemoth co-operative Amul.


These tired hands,
the fervour of thankless labours,
the insolent ires
from within this hearth
and our own burdened caste.

Not the necessary ingredients
to fund a turnover,
least of all a revolution.

But the Lord
and outcasts work together
in mysterious ways.
destiny and hard work align
and a sea of white
liberates us from bondage.

We learn to churn
an empire of industriousness,
a whole new set of existence.
In the land of milk and prosperity,
we generate a sea of white,
for posterity.



The shimmer of my jewels
blinds these rooms.

The obstinance of his devotion
to the Goddess
kills reason.

They said the Sea Gods
kept their vigil
over the coast.

we are all submerged
by the hollow promise
of idol worship.

With the jewels gathering rust,
the priest ending his blind subservience
to inherited faith
and the coast clear.

A town gone
with the last dust of ancient compliance with blind faith.



Oh, the horror!
The travesty of the Gods.
Injustice’s last journey,
atop the decaying corpse,
travels across this land.

Is somebody out there
to hear my cry
or carry him for cremation?
Or are hands of man-made cruelty
too benign on the ruling classes?

the horror!
of a wife
finding her man amidst
carcasses and a field full of swines.


CHAKRA (1981)

I’m one with the dirt and the grime,
the pitfalls and the pride.
Earth Mother.

A mother to none
but the millions like me.



With a delicate use of my fingers,
I can slash throats
or order it as a state decree.

All in the name of a sarcastic
clown spinning tall tales
and a paper crown.


NISHANT (1975)

Open the door
and beckon my mirror image.

I am a pale shadow
of all who came before you,
to this chamber.

The tragedy being
that I’m called ‘wife’
An impaled title,
flickering with the night’s end.


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