Do give away my dowry…

(Translated and adapted from a Pahari (Himachali) folk song)

On a warm sunny day
I hate work in the bow’ry
And say, O father mine
Do give away my dowry.

 

I know not the art of winnow
And idle my time in the bow’ry
Ay! Father I want not to stay
O! Please do give my dowry away.

 

On a glazed high stair case
An iv’ry comb in my hair
Why gaze at me, why my love?
I now belong elsewhere.

 

My father-in-law is good t’me
Mother-in-law a thousand spears.
And though my eyes are wet with weeping
There is no one to wipe my tears.

 

In scorching sun and heat
I feel saddened and lazy
And my sister-in-law?
Her curses drive me crazy.

 

No, I know not the art of milch.
No, I know not how to grin’ wheat
At even hour come many a guest
Whom I know not the manner to greet.

 

O! My eyes are full of flames
Cats and dogs, cats and dogs
Cats and dogs, do I weep.
In high uneasy nights
Wondering which side should I sleep?

 

My husband works in Shimla
My brother-in-law is a burglar
For others he gets suits and boots
But O! For me, not ev’n a muffler.

 

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