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These are bilingual stories that I written and illustrated. They are about the farmer suicides of Vidarbha, Maharasthra in India. An attempt to d… Read More
These are bilingual stories that I written and illustrated. They are about the farmer suicides of Vidarbha, Maharasthra in India. An attempt to document the plight of the farmers family, their problems and day-to-day life, has been captured through handmade images. Read Less
Published:
The sob story of a farmer
Book illustrations and bilingual stories about the farmer suicides at Vidarbha
These stories were created as a part of a graphic novel with 16 stories of different farmers from the same region, who committed suicide. The project is in collaboration with the Damroo Project at IDC, IIT Bombay. Agriculture in India is better known as - a gamble with monsoons  - because in case of failure it can lead to a series of droughts, lack of better prices and exploitation. This along with the advent of the BT cotton seed in India; that failed miserably in yielding a good crop, led to a spate of suicides committed by farmers, in the region of Vidarbha.
 
The stories created are bilingually written and illustrated by me. It is an attempt to understand the aftermath on the family after the farmer has commited suicide. Material collected from interviews, their daily life and conversations with his family have been documented and converted into a library to refer to, while working on the images.
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The setting sun (Hindi)
 
Sau, sau katha suni hain, ab Suman, ki bhi suney.
Vipatti ban gayi jabse mitra uski. Ab ankh bhi na bharey.
 
 “Kissan beej bota hai, fal jo na woh chakhe.
Yeh chakker nirantar, maya, kaun yeh khel rache?”

Soya bean, Javari, Arhar, aayo sab soonkhe.
Jag, Sarkar, parivaar, bolo, kaun hisab dhare?
 
Jyoti – Geeta bas naam ke, bojh yeh kaun sahe?
Bhor bana andhiyaara udhar khatam kaun karey?
 
School, padhai, mitra ko bhool, ek hi aasha liye,
Janm detey, detey, hum apney …atma samarpan karey.
 
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.  .  .
 
The setting sun (English)
 
Of a 100 similar stories, lets here another one.
Sadness and misery walk at her side - narrates Suman,
 
A farmer sows the seeds, she says - but enjoy that, he may not.
Who designs this endless cycle in which we all are caught?
 
Soyabean, javari, arhar, are all, afraid to grow.
Common man or the mighty sarkar, who will bear the blow?
 
Jyoti – Geeta’s names are but, ironies of fate ...
Who will carry their burden? Who can bear the weight?
Dawn turns into darkness and dries up all my sweat,
I wipe my forehead thinking, who will pay this debt?
 
School, studies, friends and foes are forgotten with a sigh!
Instead of giving birth each day … I would rather die.
 
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My kind of god (Marathi)
 
Sakaalche, chaar vajle, vajle, mi  ghar jhaadle, jhaadle,
Sagle kapde dhuvun taakle!

Mag mi karte  nehmicha swayampaak,
'Kartye! Aata bhandi ghaas', Aai saangte maarun haak.

Gothyatale shen kadhun, kadhun, shetatla kaapus khudun, khudun,
Ani  pani bharun, bharun. Jaganach sampla, kaam karun.

Amhala khelaaychi muli ichchach urli nahin ...
Mothya jhalat, kaam kara, log sangtat kahibahi!

Aata kashi mi bhaju asha devala,
takiche ghaav sosoon, majhyatach devpana aala.
 
.  .  .
 
 
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My kind of God (English)
 
Early morning, at the crack of dawn.
I wash away the settled dust;  it's gone.
 
Cooking some vegetables, dry roti and rice ...
I'm praying to god, 'Will it suffice?'
 
The highlights of the day – cow dung and cotton,
An actualized life, is forgone and forgotten.
 
No more enjoying a game of fun or play.
forgetting childishness, maturity's a cliche.
 
Misery, toil and hardwork etched into his every bone,
A farmer shall occupy the space next to God, let this be known.
 
.  .  .
 
 
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