Ode on Nangeli* / Poem by Dr. Ranjana Sharan Sinha

Dr. Ranjana Sharan Sinha
Poet, author and literary critic. A well-known voice in the firmament of Indian Poetry in English with international recognition. A professor by profession and a poet by passion. Widely published in national and international journals, magazines, e-zines and archives.Received awards and commendations for her literary achievements. Accolade from the former President of lndia, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for her poem Mother Nature.Authored and published 07 books in different genres and 50 research papers.Poems published in more than 15 highly acclaimed international anthologies and archives.
Ode on Nangeli*
The bitter twisted lies of history,
Can’t annihilate her valorous sacrifice —
Against a cruel Brahmanic patriarchy
A subaltern spoke in action amplified!
Visceral waves of loss and sorrow
For the avarna woman denied justice,
Surge within and soon overflow–
Oh, crushed was the blossom full of promise!
Yet,her soul invictus seeking honour,
Makes her an incarnation of valour.
The feudal days soaked in barbarism:
Lower cast women suffering public shame–
Forced to move without covering their bosom,
None but the upper caste was to blame.
Heinous breast tax under law was imposed;
Women worked, unable to break the cages,
As men gazed at their torsos naked,
Unfolding sagas of utter helplessness.
However, the unknown dark horizon
Awaited a grim volcanic eruption!
Pretty Nangeli, feisty and fierce-willed,
Despised the disgusting men leering
At the bounce of her breasts, and dared
To cover,without the tax paying:
Public commotion gathered momentum
As the woman walked and toiled
Fearlessly in protest with covered bosom,
Unfettered by the consequences that lurked.
Ah, on a technicolour summer sunset
She didn’t know that the day was her last!
Out came Nangeli from her mud cottage–
Saw the revenue collector demanding money;
The obnoxious ogle and the monstrous visage
Gnawed through her human anatomy–
The ensuing pain and fit of rage
Made her act like a flash of lightning:
She cut off her breasts– men in a daze,
Stunned and speechless by the act frightening
Instead of tax, breasts on a plantain leaf:
All my senses shake with loads of grief!!
Copyright Dr. Ranjana Sharan Sinha

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