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(My) Uncle’s Bullock-cart | Mamageli Boilam Gaddi

1 October 2016

Translated from the Konkani to the English by Walter Menezes

Here’s my uncle’s bullock-cart
Powered by Mhalu and Balu, ever smart

The bells around their neck
Awakening villages along the track
Through dense forests and flora
Of the Pandavas of another era
Go, Balu, go!
Go, Mhalu, go!
To Chandarwadi1 the cart is headed

Here’s my uncle’s bullock-cart …

The smell of the harvest
Mounds of paddy on the threshing floor
The cart is loaded with sacks
One upon another, neatly stacked
Go, Balu, go!
Go, Mhalu, go!
The cart gathers the entire crop

Here’s my uncle’s bullock-cart …

There is this competition
And uncle secures the hook in position
He whips up the nose-rings
The moment the whistle screams
Go, Balu, go!
Go, Mhalu, go!
Prizes galore for the speeding cart

Here’s my uncle’s bullock-cart …

It is now dusk
But uncle is still at task
He summons all
Children big and small
Go, Balu, go!
Go, Mhalu, go!
The cart goes for a trip across

Here’s my uncle’s bullock-cart …

  1. or Chandor, once the capital of the Kadamba dynasty
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