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.

Wild Grass

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.