Subject



My mother started wearing sindoor
The day I was born, in the shed
Behind her chai-stall.
Next day, people came with questions
And good-talks to mash with the grounded cookies
Few came just to see me suckle.
My mother wished I had not born.

At nine, my frock of five
Crawled up my knees
And when I asked ma for a longer one
She told me not to squat while
Washing the cups and plates.
Similar people, dissimilar stares-
Sympathetic, just-a-look, gaping, piercing
All bled me alike, an unstopping wound
On my tender flesh.
I wished I could stop growing.
At seventeen, my mother reclined
Pushing me take over her stall.
People flocked evermore than before
Not for the tea they sipped
But my breast with their eyes, I knew.
A chador strung tight over my kameez
Could still not deter, for
A fallen stitch, a trickle of sweat
A tress undone or a wet patch- still drew in
The gaze that roved all over
Like vicious bugs that stung deep.
I wish I soon grow old.



About the author: The author of the above poem is Kaushik Hazarika from Tangla. At present he teach English at Sipajhar College, and pursuing M.Phil as a research scholar at Gauhati University.[Read More]

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