top of page

Our Hunger Is Your Curiosity

By Ajit Kumar Bhoi, translated by Pitambar Naik

You who are researching civilisation are cultured

we’re an element in your research—

from our nudity to our clothing

from our dialect to our spirits and deities

now your eyes are at our parched stomachs

endeavouring to know whether the intestines

of us are made of the flesh or iron

our hunger is your curiosity: how do these people live?

How do they live on fine-grained clay,

air-potato yams, and tubers with stream water?

The research team has come to know this

taking notes and pens, interrogating us bit by bit.

How do we feel hungry, why do we feel hungry

when do we feel hungry? Heaps of questions!

We don’t have any answers to these questions, sir

if you can, cut off our stomachs and carry on your

research in your laboratory

when the research is over, bring back our

stomachs and stitch them to our bodies

there’s nothing as such in these stomachs

keep them with you as long as you want

we’d be saved from hunger at least for some days

it’d be good if the government would know

and the administration would know

the rich and capitalists would know

you’d know what hunger actually meant to us and

how we live on mango seeds and fine-grained clay!


About the author:

Ajit Kumar Bhoi graduated from Sambalpur University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree and started writing poetry in 2015. People’s struggles like displacement, caste atrocities and alienation force him to write. He is a Middle School Teacher. He was born and brought up in Kuliapada, Kalahandi (Odisha) in India.

Pitambar Naik is an advertising copywriter for a living. When he’s not creating ideas for brands, he writes poetry. His work appears or is forthcoming in The McNeese Review, The Notre Dame Review, Packingtown Review, Ghost City Review, Rise Up Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, The Indian Quarterly and elsewhere. He’s the author of the poetry collection, The Anatomy of Solitude (Hawakal). He grew up in Odisha and lives in Bangalore, India.

Related Posts

See All


A poem by Jessica Daniel for Erato's first issue, 'Bloom.' "I am arrested / in the summer / when my eyes are edged with ruby"

Big Boys

Ruth is about to learn the truth about magic and boys. A story by Samantha Dooey-Miles

Beatitudes For Breakfast

"Beatitudes For Breakfast" is about a man I know, albeit only casually, whose family turned away from Christianity to various other beliefs.

bottom of page