Rajyashri Goody is from Pune, India. She lives and works in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Goody completed her BA in Sociology at Fergusson College in Pune in 2011 and an MA in Visual Anthropology at the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology at the University of Manchester, England, in 2013. Goody’s art practice is informed by her academic background and her Ambedkarite roots.
Cut some wild grass. Sell it. Cook a meal with the money. Put a couple of mouthfuls of food In your hungry children’s stomachs. By a law of his own invention The Patil may come, spewing curses to your hut. He might drag you to the temple and beat you in front of everyone for selling his grass, his fodder. Nobody may stand up for you while he curses your mother. and abuses your sisters. Leave the village. Let the rest remain stuck like leeches.
At every wedding or religious festival celebrated in the village homes, fill yourself with happiness. Turn up to sit at their doors. The Patil might curse you. ‘Aara, let the guests eat their fill first. Then you pimps can take the leavings.’ When the first serving is done, you will be fed. The food might be given to you in the place where the little ones squat to shit. Kick dust over the shit Sit down to eat. The next day, if the goat belonging to the Vanjari dies at the edge of a river, he might appear at your door and demand that you drag the corpse back to the village. Make up your mind that you are not going to do the traditional filthy jobs demanded of you. Your refusal might enrage the master. He might abuse you, and call you a parasite for refusing to do any work after eagerly swallowing the food last night. Become even more determined. Sit tight.