Their women sit on the swing and sing

The story of Vaamanan

Kaniyan household to steal fire

Then in the form of a brahmin child

Measured the earth

In three steps.

He stood on the asura

King Mahabali’s

Head and trampled it

Into the ground.

Every year

During the Onam festival

When Mahabali comes up

To visit the Land

of the Living Stench,

Where history flings

Shit on our faces…

Translated from the Tamil by Anushiya Ramaswamy. Excerpted from Give Us This Day A Feast of Flesh (Navayana, 2010).

Write to lounge@livemint.com

Close