Multimedia Spoken Poetry – Indigo-narratives

Listen Indigo Poem:-


INDIGO: An Ode to Neel Darpan

11870835_887801957960420_8909444104324697340_nThe blues of indigo
Or the moods of indigo!
The turbulent blue waters
Stormy skies and stormy weather
Under the sky and over the sea
Farmers blue
On meadows green
Toiling and sweating
Spading and farming
Ploughing and cultivating
Parched terra firma-the soil


Die of hunger
No food to eat
But grow indigo!
Why! Says a farmer’s child!
I am hungry!

The natives of region deltaic,
Early 19th century….
India’s colonial past,
Torrid and stifling times
The woe of a mother,
Child and the farmer
Oppressed in drudgery
Hundred of years of subjugation
The hawk and the worm
The greed intensifies
The ‘tinthankas’ enforced…
The hell break loose,
like worms they die…
So they do! Even today!

14aMahatma steps in…He walks miles and miles
Preaching ‘right to live’
‘freedom to live’
Kindling awareness
He wrote letters unending
To colonisers ruling

Fighting for the farmers
The hawks threatened him
In his body frame
Unshaken he was
Went on and on…
STOP growing indigo… we will fight!
We need wheat and rice to survive!
For the dying farmers
who gave their lives to grow indigo plant
The blood that spilled in the fields of blue
Is the blood that stained the chest of indigoes to reach England.

Do we need another Mahatma to fight for 21st century farmers..!!

The blues of indigo
Or the moods of indigo!

Shelly Jyoti
December 2009


This poem delves into the politics of indigo , the first national freedom movement in chamaparan led by Mahatma Gandhi in 1917-1918 and the unfortunate state of farmers even today.

“For the first time in history, Champaran movement and its peculiar connection with indigo is given a visual representation and representation by two contemporary artists. And this goes beyond illustration and sympathetic affiliation as both Jyoti and Kina bring in their respective subjectivities to position their works within the textual discourse of the concerned history.”-JohnyML 
JohnyML is a Delhi based curator, critic and writer, New Delhi 2009