In the Narmada Valley

In the Narmada Valley
translation by Rushabh Mehta from Hindi Narmada ki ghati mein
A fight is on in the Naramada Valley.
Stand up people, or there will be no valley.

This dam, they say, will bring prosperity,
But what will the cost be to humanity?

The daggers are out, the trap is laid,
Come take the water, and slaves will you be made.

The cities are hungry, they need the electricity,
If they don’t get it from the Tapi, they will take it from the Valley.

Crores have been spent and facts have been flared,
Without checks or balances, even Gujarat wont be spared.

The politics is clear, they will be gone in five years,
With or without the dam, you will be heard with deaf ears.

They will crush your home and snatch your plough,
And leave you homeless, helpless and rough.

And there will be no other place left for you,
Lakhs will be displaced to the benefit of few.

The minister, his party and his cronies sing,
Don’t come to us brothers, the middleman is the king.

Read between the lines, is this really sane?
A few years of gain and centuries of pain.

A fight is on in the Naramada Valley…..


Greeting Aunt Flo

This article appeared in Manushi: A Journal of Women and Society, Issue 150 and was published online by India Together in November 2005.  It also appeared in Himal Magazine (September-October 2005) (listed here, archived here) under the title “The Cup and Me.”  It appears on the AID website as Greeting Aunt Flo

Greeting Aunt Flo

When I read about Gita’s menses in Kirin Narayan’s novel Love, Stars, and All That, I felt many a page was yet to be written of this rarely told yet widely experienced love-hate relationship. Would I ever attain the peace of Anne Frank, who wrote in her diary that she cherished her monthly cycle as her own sweet secret? Continue reading