Gently Plays the Flute!

His flute catches the sleeve of the wind

He shuts his eyes

Willing Raga Megh to drench his daughter’s cries.

His daughter, Shabnam, all of sixteen

Married to Sadar, the village money-lender,

Under a cheap zari-spangled tent

A month before his land would have been re-possessed;

While Sadar’s first wife, Seema, fed the guests

As sullen as the desert

And as barren.

His son-in-law

A grey-streaked pig;

He clamps the shutters

Of his eyes tighter.

In a streak of sado-masochism

He suspends his fingers mid-air

Poised to thrust them in his ears

At the next feminine squeak.

Wait… what’s this…?

The cry is a grunt

Or has he heard it right?

He watches his son-in-law

Unspooling at the verandah

In a porcine heap;

A tattered translation

Of his strutting self;

The two women’s curses shaking the heavens

And their slippers beating to a rare taal

He places the flute

To his lips

Once again,

The wind makes the music sweeter…


21 responses »

  1. Irene says:

    Wonderful read Indrani

  2. Indrani Talukdar says:

    Thanks so much Deepika. And a big ‘hello’ to you as well, I don’t believe we’ve met before have we?

  3. deepika says:

    Your poem is an outcry of your heart. Only a beautiful and sensitive heart can think up so deeply.

  4. vimala madon says:

    what a lovely poem! So much depth and pathos. I was really moved, Indrani

    • Indrani Talukdar says:

      Thanks a lot, Vimala. I don’ty believe we have interatcted before, have we?

      • vimala madon says:

        I don’t know, but I was on 4IW also since April last year and sent several blogs to them.

      • Indrani Talukdar says:

        I realize that now. I think I was confusing with aother Vimla, another lovely person who used to write on 4IW.

  5. Sneha says:


  6. Indrani Talukdar says:

    Thats so nice of you, Shail!

  7. Dear Indra,

    You are filled with such intensity that it just flows, nay pours into your poem. What an ordinary line in prose could not have done, your poetry has expressed.


  8. vimalaramu says:

    An intense poem, Indrani. Music indeed makes everything seem insignificant.

  9. Sonal Shree says:

    You have depicted the state of the poor families (girls) in villages . Its an achievement expressing it in verse. Very well written.

    • Indrani Talukdar says:

      Thanks for the comment, Sonal. This was inspired by Hosseini’s novel, A Thousand Different Suns. I am sure you’ve read it. I used to wish the victims would beat their perpetrator.

  10. Indrani Talukdar says:

    Thnaks Shernaz!

  11. Shernaz says:

    A tattered translation

    Of his strutting self;

    I liked that line a lot. A well expressed poem portraying different emotions of the different characters in tightly controlled words. Thanks for sharing this, Indrani.

  12. Indrani Talukdar says:

    Thanks Beniyaaz! 🙂 Thanks for being the first to comment.

  13. Beyniaz says:

    Mistress of musical words. Lovely.

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