A Song of Poykayil Appachan

No, not a single letter is seen

Portrait of Poykayil Appachan, Charcoal on Paper 2010, Ajay Sekher

On my race

So many histories are seen

On so many races

Scrutinize each one of them

The whole histories of the world

Not a single letter is seen

On my race

There was no one on this earth

To write the history

Of my race in the olden days

What a pity!

Think of it

Regret fills within

Let me add something

In my own melody

The story of

A people who lived in Kerala

Since the ancient times

And how they became demons

No shame have I

To say the faults of my caste

Though all blame me

A cursed offspring on earth

How is it possible

That all blame us

Till the end

Of earth and sky

How can God

Who shaped everything

Allow this to happen

On earth today?

(Translated from Malayalam by Dr Ajay Sekher).

For details and more songs by this dalit social reformer of Kerala see Unknown Subjects: Songs of Poykayil Appachan. Edited by V V Swamy and E V Anil. Translated by Ajay Sekher. Kottayam: IPRDSS, 2008.

4 thoughts on “A Song of Poykayil Appachan

  1. Veena

    Translations bring such wonderful dalit writings to a larger literary scenes where it can be praised and debated.

    good work


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