The Telegraph
Thursday , May 1 , 2014
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Ai Modi tu mahiya chata, chala-chali kaluhari mein

Modi ke naiya phans gail bate Ganga ke dhari mein

This couplet written in typical Bhojpuri slang spoken in the sugar-growing Saran region was sent to The Telegraph in a text message.

It is hard for a non-Bhojpuri speaker to understand the verse but it is quite apt (along the region north of the Ganga) in the context of BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

Interpreted, in context, the couplet strives to say Modi’s boat stands trapped in the stormy current of the Ganga, rendering him unemployed.

The poet jokingly appeals to him, assuring a solace — “O Modi (Modi), you have plenty of free time now. The boat you were rowing is trapped in the swirling waters of the Ganga. You have no business to do any more. Better come to me. I will take you to the place where jaggery is cooked. Better, enjoy the taste of mahiya (half-cooked jaggery, a delicacy in the sugarcane-rich hinterlands) than getting back on the boat that is beyond redemption”.

The couplet reflects the popular perception that the BJP’s roller coaster is stuck in the constituencies along the Ganga with a dominant presence of Yadavs and Muslims.

The folk poet, who prefers to call himself Kahak, is from a village in Saran district. Bhikhari Thakur — the Shakespeare of Bhojpuri language — is his idol. Bhikhari, incidentally, was also from Saran.

Bhikhari had written a couplet on the plight of then Pakistan head, Yahya Khan, after his defeat in the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war. Kahak’s couplet is a parody on the Bhikhari’s piece.

Ai Yahya tu mahiya chata, chala-chali kaluhari mein/ Yahya ke pahiya phans gail bate Bangal ke khadi mein, it went.

nalin verma