Arun Kamble: Poetry Quotes


Picking through the Vedas

his top-knot well-oiled with ghee,

my Brahmin teacher tells me,

‘you idiot, use the language correctly!’

Now I ask you, which language should I speak?

Which Language should I Speak?, Arun Kamble

This is the second stanza of the poem "Which Language should I Speak?" by Arun Kamble. In these lines, he describes his brahmin teacher who has his top-knot oiled completely with ghee (melted butter). Earlier, the poet had told us how his traditions howlers at him for speaking their language, and in these lines, his brahmin teacher asks him to use the language correctly which is apparently more decent than the one spoken by poet's clan. The poet then asks the reader to answer him which language should he speak?

If you were to live the life we live

Then out of you would poems arise.

The Life We Live

These are the opening lines of the poem "The Life We Live" by Arun Kamble. The poet addresses the svaranas or the upper-caste people in these lines and tells them that if they were to live an oppressed life like that of poet's tribe, then poetry would arise from the hearts of those people.

Your bodies flame in sandalwood

Ours are shoved under the half-turned sand.

Wouldn’t the world change, and fast

If you were forced to live at last

This life that’s all we’ve always had?

The Life We Live, Arum Kamble

These are the ending lines of the poem "The Life We Live" by Arun Kamble. The poet describes the plight of Dalits, how they are considered low and unvalued compared to the Svaranas. He says that while the dead-bodies of the upper-caste gets burned in the sandalwood, the dead bodies of those of Dalits get shoved under the half-turned sand. He says that the world would change very fast if the upper-caste were at least once forced to live the kind of life Dalits lived.

Update this section!

You can help us out by revising, improving and updating this section.

Update this section

After you claim a section you’ll have 24 hours to send in a draft. An editor will review the submission and either publish your submission or provide feedback.