1. Phullara’s Twelve Months
1.1. Part 1
“A fierce drought burns in the spring of Baishakh, no shade of a tree to lay out my wares. The sun’s fiery rays scorch my feet, the rough cloth isn’t enough to cover my head. My body burns with poison in Baishakh; all turn vegetarian and meat doesn’t sell.
“My coarse clothes fall to pieces in the harsh heat of sinful Jaishtha. If I abandon my wares to drink water, in a blink, the hawk swoops for my goods. Hot winds blow in this wicked month of Jaishtha, as I fast on a diet of thorny fruit.
“The new clouds of Asharh are brimming with water, yet households lie empty of provisions. I roam door to door with meat to sell, earning broken kernels of rice, not enough to fill my belly. I count my misfortunes, the hundreds of leeches that feast on me, yet no cobra bites to end my misery.
“Pouring rain, day and night, in the month of Sraban; lunar fortnights, light and dark, blur into sameness. My world drowns in the flood of rain from new clouds. In such times, to kill a deer is sin. Hear my sad tale, O God! The brave hunter’s home weathers no storm, yet my hut floods.
“When clouds grow unruly in Bhadrapad, rivers and streams meld; water everywhere. As I roam in vain with my hamper of meat, a hungry fire burns my body, within and without. How much more pain will you inflict, without relief of happiness? My husband is gone astray, and fortune turns its back upon me.”
1.2. Part 2
"In the month of Ashwin, when prayers to Goddess Ambika are said, when offerings are made of buffaloes and goats, when other wives are decked in finery, hapless Phullara worries about bare necessities. It is a month much loved by all, for sacrificial meat is plentiful in every home.
“Frost is born in Kartik. To keep out the cold, all snuggle into warm clothes, which the gods provide for all; but luckless Phullara, she huddles in a deer hide. Hear my sad lament, O God! No defence from the cold but to sit hugging my knees, warming by the fire.
“Of all months, Aghrayan is most divine! Grain is abundant - fields, markets, granaries, and homes are full. Fortune fills bellies with food, yet fate decrees this winter, cold as death. Ill-fated Phullara - I tally my griefs, as I pull an old scarf around me for cover.
“Despite the sharp cold of Paush, most are content, whose backs are covered with warm clothes. Instead of deerskin, I find an old coarse blanket that rains billows of dust upon my body. What a pointless fate to be born a woman! For fear of dust, I dare not open my eyes as I lie resting.
“In the calamitous, unrelenting fogs of Magh, the deer hide away in darkness. We cannot hunt, nor pick greens in the month of Magh. There is no end to the impediments to Phullara’s daily work! Everyone abstains from meat and fasts in this terrible month.
“Phalgun brings extremes of heat and cold; I pledge my stone and clay pots for fragments of rice. Phullara is unfortunate indeed, for she has no other vessels to store rice. Know my misery, O God! See that hole in the ground where we keep our cold rice-gruel.
“Sweet Chaitra brings a soft southern breeze, and bees sip honey from the malati flower. Yet we, husband and wife, are tormented by hunger.”