Dalita Naaniis


By Netala Pratap Kumar 
Gujarat
is an experiment
to see if a state would grow
when you sow blood
~~~

I've always kept
my heart's doors open
for Dalits
among Brahmins
~~~

Ahimsa
sounded like an atomic explosion:
why wouldn't
the Buddha smile?
~~~

Under the tree
beside the road, near the ghat
god's everywhere
except in the heart
~~~

Ravana
is not a rakshasa
He's a lover
who kisses ten times at once
~~~

Dalits
are a little lucky
there's no Drona
in Ambedkar's story

Naaniis are a new form of short poems, somewhat like haikus, that Telugu poets have been experimenting  with in the last 
two decades or so.
Naren Bedide's translation of some of Netala Pratap Kumar's Telugu naaniis from  his collection of poetry 'daLita naaniilu'. 
The original translation appeared in The Shared Mirror on March 10, 2012. It can be read here
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