Tribal Art

It was a rainy day
five of them stood at the foothill
waving their hands at us.
they wanted to see our huts in the hills
but couldn't climb the hills
so we carried them on our backs
their bodies were as soft as broiler chicken
unlike ours which were seasoned
like woods underneath the water
in the shallow river

They called us adivasis
they clicked our photographs.
For the first time my mother smiled
after the dead of my old man
who died of fever, they called it malaria.
they asked us to imitate like hunters
in our costumes
so we did with spears and swords
wearing skulls

we served them pork
one of them refused to eat
Others insisted him
saying "it is a pork chop"
so he ate like a dog (laugh)
They left the hill with measles.
such week souls they were
with their eyes glittering
with everything we did

"their eyes so big
ours so slanted
Our noses so flat
theirs so pointed"

Once we came to Delhi
To submit our memorandum
that took us several years
to prepare as we were not aware
of anything that can benefit us from Delhi
but never we gained anything.

Mr. Prime Minister was too kind
Instead he hired a bus for us
and the driver thought
we will be interested in seeing certain thing
in the crowded city
so he took us to some shops
which advertised phrase like "Tribal Art"
with paintings, pictures, costumes,etc

the pictures were shining like gold;
well polished and well framed with hands of god
but they were about us
who they called Adivasi
they were the pictures
clicked by those men who refused to eat the pork
cooked in our mud pot.
the paintings reflected every movement
of our lives with the brush strokes

Oh! Art is a wonderful thing
We had never seen or heard of Lotus Temple
but our folklores and stories have existed,
echoed through out the big big cities
Oh Art is a wonderful thing

I wanted to buy one of the paintings
but could not communicate with the seller
(With my movements i could not communicate)
even if i bought one
it would have broken into pieces
on my way back home
as you see roads are still not there
still it is the same fields  and hills
that my old man shooed away the jackals
but i must tell you
Art is a wonderful thing
it doesn't know any language
it doesn't care where it belongs
it sells unlike our worries of life

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