Thursday, April 30, 2009

An(other) way

Head bowed down
vermillion sindur
a pink and gold dress
I'd never wear, otherwise
jingling bangles on my arms
my husband wants me to have a child
my mother in law wants me too cook
my family wants me to uphold
the honour of "my family"
I desire to be free
to be just plain ole me
Through my pallu, I see
carefree girls, chattering gleefully
of all the things they dream to do
But I---
I must always be on the outside
I never knew an(other) way to be.

Butchering the Butcher

Bloody hands
cursed is my name
day after day, I slit
throats of goats
and little chicks
haunted by their eyes
haunted by their pain
where shall I go
to become a man again?
brute killing brute
condemned is my life
But I need food
for my wife to survive.

You sit on gleaming glass tables
under glimmering chandeliers
saying "i didn't kill them
it was the butcher"


I wove garlands
of fictions
fancies, fantasies
perfumed fragrances
that gave delight
keeping me happy
and cosy.
I did not want grim reality
its stark, naked truths
staring me in the face.
My garland is my bower
it's a lovely purple and green.

All the same, you have yours too
Only, maybe your garland is blue.

Railway Journey

A Thailand girl gave me thai food
A woman talked of pilgrimage
A bride with bangles sat before me
a didi gave me paranthas and laddoo
two children played and sometimes fought
a man on the top berth, lost in his book
A last rumble, a last screech
the train comes to a halt
I melt out of their lives
they out of mine
But the journey, like the river, goes on...

I meet people, I go places
I see a million different faces
some I like and some I don't
some I love and some I ignore
laughter, pleasure, hurt and pain
solitary loss and solitary gain
sweep across like hurricanes
I change my place, or you change yours
I melt out of your life
you out of mine
But the journey, like the river, goes on...

My Umbrella

'Twas a beautiful umbrella
a bright, warm red
covering me like a secure shell
in sun and rain and storm
I peeped out at the world
all snug and cosy in my umbrella.

Scorching sun, pelting rain and devastating storm
made my umbrella faded, tattered
it has holes in it now.

I stand, clutching my holey- umbrella
peeping out at the world
Today, I believe it to be
as snug, as cosy
as secure, as warm
and perhaps...
as beautiful, as bright, and as red.