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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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To Fight is the Rooster's Dharma Durable Link to this BLOG
Cockfight

Call of the Cockfight Wager
(or "To Fight is the Rooster's Dharma")

Gather, come hither
for the cockfight!

No tax, no cover charge, no taxman
Like life itself, 'tis only a game

Red Rooster, Green Rooster
Both are mine
Both are yours (to bet)
Both are brave soldiers
Trained in martial arts
Of attack and of defense

Is that the policeman in the khakis?
Someone buy him a coffee
Or pour him a glass of brandy
We need his blessings for our sport
He needs us to feed his family

Torture of living beings is a sin
I know that, and so do you.
But the bird doesn't know that!
Let this one be.
The policeman, the brandy man,
the punter are all householders.
Let them be.

You are a sacred man,
But I am a condemned one.
So you can donate me
Your sins of betting.

Enjoy yourselves,
then perform your rituals
and cleanse yourself, and leave
the fruits of the bad karma to me.

Trust me and enjoy the show
It doesn't matter the winner is green or the red
The caste of chickens has no death
To fight is a cock's dharma
Let the cock die for dharma.


Gather, Come Hither
for the Cockfight.

Admire the bravery of the rooster
The courage to carry on
Even when the neck is gone!

Hold your breath
Hold your feelings
Raise your drink
Raise your stake

And just enjoy the show!

Adapted and translated from Kannada Original by Prakash Nayak, published in ThatsKannada.com. Used with permission.
Translation by Vikas Kamat.
Photographs by K. L. Kamat.

Commentary

Cock fighting used to be a common street sport in India and although disappearing, is still practiced underground. It is a bloody sport that is pursued till one bird kills another. The excitement is increased by ganging of the teams, consumption of liquor, and betting.

The poem illustrates typical logic applied by the Indian society for diluting of its morals. It shows the interwoven fabics of rampant corruption, natural amusements, philosophy and thinking of common citizens in India.

Related Links

• India's great street culture
• Kamat Goes to a Cockfight
• The Birds of India
• Definition of terms: dharma, karma, punter
• A medieval sculpture showing a cock-fight


(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Saturday, May 18, 2002
Last Modified: 12/7/2003
Tags: cockfight

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