Monday, January 6, 2020

The Boys of Tomorrow

Kamla Bhasin has written another poem, this time for boys. I translated it quickly and shared it with my students (young college going boys and girls). We then practiced enacting it. 

It is my dream that the words will ring in the boys' ears whenever they are dealing with women in their lives. It is my dream that these powerful words of a powerful woman, which I will ensure they memorize, will transform them. 

The Boys of Tomorrow
Original written in Hindi by Kamla Bhasin; English translation by Puja Anand

Boys are learning to help around the house
They enjoy carrying out their share of responsibilities
They won’t keep, not any more
Their sisters and mothers in servitude

Boys are learning to stitch and darn
They enjoy fixing things that have gone bad
They don’t want, no they don’t
Destruction and its celebration

Boys are filling their hearts with equality
They enjoy being equal partners
They won’t carry on, not anymore
Pointless domination of others

Now boys too are becoming motherly
They enjoy taking care of others
They are rejecting, yes they are
Their so-called right to command others

See, boys are also becoming compassionate
They enjoy supporting others
They won’t participate, not anymore
In bringing anyone down

Boys are becoming truly strong
They enjoy protecting others
They won’t accept, no they won’t
Oppressing or seeing anyone being oppressed

Boys are also becoming sensitive
They are beginning to understand their emotions
They won’t accept, not anymore
Being forced to hold back their tears

Boys are also becoming decent
They enjoy being polite and respectful
They do not want, no they don't
To be labeled "Dabang", "Badtameez" or macho

Boys are becoming honorable too
They enjoy sharing their resources equally 
They won't steal brazenly, not anymore
What should rightfully belong to their sisters

Note: "Dabang" and "Badtameez" are references to popular Hindi movies and songs. I have retained these words because of their Indian context. 

Here is the original poem in Hindi. Not very clear since it's an image. Will figure out a way to fix this. 

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