Saturday, December 19, 2009

On the Threshold

"Songs of Chokhamela"
Why have you thrown this challenge, god?
Solve this riddle of mine;
Enter my shoes, know in your own self:
An outcast, what rights do I enjoy?
Says Chokha, this low born human body
Every one drives away?

Chokhamela was a fourteenth-century untouchable saint-poet who belong to the varkari tradition of Maharashtra. These poems, the first expression of dalit poetry, express poignantly a peculiar dichotomy: the awareness of living at the margin, and God's need and love for him.

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