Jyoti Lanjewar

Jyoti Lanjewar is prolific writer who has been consistently writing in Marathi contributing much to poetry and literary criticism. A writer par excellence she is taught in universities both in India and abroad. A Recipient of numerous awards, she is amongst those very few writers who believe in being what she is without being boxed into categories. She clearly opines "not all of my poems are about being a Dalit and a woman is in intrinsic fact about humanity and its seemingly endless struggle for survival about justice and acknowledgement and some times humanity happens to be Dalit the oppressed and marginalized . These are voices around me – my very own. It is a wonderful process of all these voices coming out of me."
Her poetry then, speaks on diverse themes as womanhood , motherhood, friendship, honest commitment, humanity, human values and love. She has authored more than 11 books and remains one of the leading voices of today in Modern Indian Poetry as also a potent voice in Dalit Woman writing.
Awards-B.c. Mardhekar Puraskar,Wasanti Gadgil Puraskar, Lokmitra Puraskar , Padmashri Daya Pawar Puraskar, Ahilyadevi Holkar puraskar, Mahatma Fule Gaurav Puraskar, Parivertan Sahitya Puraskar, Bhimabai Ambedkar Puraskar


How long must I endure the venomous sting?
How long must I chop my own wings?
Who has tethered my legs thus?
Who has ruined my mad hopes?
I - free ...testimonials only on papers
Within the threshold... they imped me
At times then I search for myself
In the page of history I land
I the indigenous culture
The aborigine... Durga*
The great goddess
At time yashodhara* ...draupadi* seems an old story

So many other names were given to me
Bearing the brunt's of pain
I still remain the same
What is a woman supposed to be after all?
Originator of sine ?
Graveyard of insults?
Then the embracing motherhood:-
On whom nature gazes -
The daily devouring flesh ?
Planting pretty delicate promises
The ones who have been
Blotted ... burgled...
Bilked ... becharmed...
Better still ... for those who
Broke the umbilical cord
Only to become a man
-* Yashodhara- the wife of Gautam Buddha
*Draupadi – also called Panchali the wife of the five brothers – the pandavas in the epic Mahabharata
*Durga – goddess of Power.She is believe to be created by the fusion of the strength of Brahma –Vishnu And Mahesh the three principal deities in Hindu Mythology


The contest of your words
I hid in my lips ... today

On every leaf are the coy buds
The drooping pregnant dome
The multitude of green parrots
On the lush green branches -
Have flown off without the retreat

To bruise me
Even the stars are not mine
Wonder to which birth belongs
This anonym restlessness -
That wanders every perforation
And the moment I am touched by your touch
I instantly swing leeward

Actually shores are shore - less themselves
And Knowing this you send of the wave
Coming closed to the shore


Trees should not make
Any assurance to anyone
Clinging to old objects of devotion
Should not be leaders to hypocrites
Trees should remain like a "tree"
Quite unnecessarily
Trees grow as tall grasses
Calling themselves rebels
Caring for their own camps
Few have built secure fences around
Constructed limits for themselves

Sometimes Trees turn providers
Not to one but several birds
With them
Indulge in child play
Help them
To built nests
For others
Protect their younglings
Provide warmth of leaves
Gradually as the birds come of age
The trees also teach them
To change the nest
And not just so
On convenience
Bid them to fly.


In this historical dark alley
There's a four winged Wada*
Inside it on the weather battered walls
Some parrots sit routinely
With them a few maina* too interlocute
On matters of private interest
When opened – the hewn stoned doors of the Wada creak
For some they are wide open... for some shut fast
Through these jammed doors a bat adges in
From the ceiling summit hangs upside down
And espials the environment around

Some parrots jabber of urchins
Some chatter of goblins
Some gabble of god men
Some babble self eulogy
Some patter of old brocades
Some sputter envious rancor

When some remote white goose elects to pick pearls
He becomes a rumor for the remainder rumor-mongering maina

Well... you see...
That way

The maina learnt to walk 'n' talk from this Wada
"Develop " as they call ... they "Display"

Some birds stand them for want of alternate

In this four winged Wada
Relations - connections - affections- fetch water
"Thou art my mother ... thou my father
Thou art my brother ... thou my lover"*
Rapture all maina in chorus

*wada- Huge houses generally owned by the capitalists in villages.Structurally it is a large enclosed space with several quarters
*maina- song bird that appears in the spring
*thou art my mother... lover A popular devotional song in Hindi that sings about equality "Tumhi ho mata pita tumhi ho"



My Voice | Poetry In Our Time | In The Name Of Poetry | Editor's Choice | Our Masters
Who We Are | Back Issues | Submission | Contact Us | Home