Who exiled the Goan Intellectual?
Did the gauddis and kunnbis toiling
In yonder fields throw you out?
Or did the kharvis on sandy shore
Weigh you with fish scales
And find you wanting?
Did the escrivão frown
Over horn rimmed glasses?
Did the posorkar hold back his sugar
And did the toddy tapper fail
To read your footnotes?
Did the bent backs at the tavern
Scorn Descartes and Proust
The smell of earth and their sweat
Intolerably incomparable with
Champagne and Chardonnay?
Did they not pay for their matchbox
And their candles and their jaggery?
Humble tax to the great exchequer
That would pay for your books
And the noble flights of your mind?
Did the primeiro grau school teacher
Cast thee out with stern rule in hand
Or the bhat, singing of god’s glory?
Did the baker shove his be-jingled staff
Up your enlightened arse?
You left, O great Goan
To walk with kings and poets
And to shine like a martyred star
With glowing angst and exile-chic
But They, unmindful, toil on.