Scalding pearls from her eyes splash the alpana

On the ceremonial platform

Her neck, a stiff ligament, turns with difficulty

Towards the conch blower

Who, throwing back her head

Halts, correcting her pitch.

The ululation pierces the

Bones of her skull

As she holds her stomach,

Nay, her womb

Barren and still.

So the gynecologist had said;

Pronouncing a death knell.

Relatives mill around, callous.

Her husband’s bald pate

Catches the reflection of the pandal light

As he ascends the platform to garland his new bride

Whose nubile face looks tight as she turns away

From her middle-aged bridegroom’s gaze.

Their eyes meet.

“Throw the garland around his neck!”

Someone admonishes.

She throws the noose on his face

And walks away.

Their eyes meet once again…



20 responses »

  1. Vinay says:

    Indrani, that ending was deserved. To the young child, not ready for marriage, yet forced into it, the garland around the bald senseless husband-to-be might as well be a noose, might as well be suffocating her life.. Powerful realistic poem, etched in verse..! A pleasure to read..

  2. Indrani Talukdar says:

    Thanks Shail, means such a lot to me 🙂

  3. Dear Indra,

    A lovely poem from the woman’s point of view, to-the-point and yet such a realistic portrayal of affairs. If only all women were courageous…..

  4. Sonal Shree says:

    Sad state of affairs for thousand of women like the one in the poem but then how many have the courage to say no?
    I loved the anti climax. so nicely written. 🙂

  5. vimala madon says:

    I should have added courageous too. I meant sad that a wife is discarded for an issue that she cannot help and that those closest to her should be ready to compromise on her happiness.

  6. vimala madon says:

    So terse, yet so well crafted. So sad…

    • Indrani Talukdar says:

      Sad!? The young bride to be wife walks away after throwing the garland on the groom’s face…

  7. Reality portrayed well with both verse and an apt picture….

  8. Beyniaz says:

    Wow, this is a real hard hitting poem. Loved it Indrani.

    • Indrani Talukdar says:

      Thanks so much, Beyniaz. You know how much I value what you have to say. Thanks again 🙂

  9. Shernaz says:

    Every detail very well depicted Indrani. Thanks for sharing.

  10. vimala ramu says:

    Wonderful imagery,enjoyed it Indrani.

  11. gc1963 says:

    Realism intricately woven in verse.

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