Showing posts from July, 2023

The Betrayal

  "I have a lot of dead people in my family now. They inhabited the stories my father regaled us( my sister and I) with as we went about not minding our own business. Stories of uncles and aunts far and near, stories of childhood squabbles and village life, stories of growing up, marriage, and becoming distant, stories of give and take, property disputes, and stories of gold jewelry and silk sarees during nieces’ weddings. Then many of them died, and I let them die in my thoughts too. But, you won’t find him here. Imagine a 12-inch pizza, a Neapolitan crust with your favorite toppings ( you could choose jalapenos, basil, olives, or bell pepper)  divided into eight slices, four sides loaded with fresh mozzarella, hot, and lip-smacking. For me, he represented the four slices: the richest, the creamiest, and umami.  The day he died, I made love to my husband, the newlywed groom. Frightened by his death, though I knew it was coming any time, I found solace on a beige-colored darbha

From Lake County Poet Laureate's platform-National Poetry Month

  The Poet's Hat-----From Jamshedpur 3rd grade( that's when I penned my first poem) to the Poet Laureate's platform. Thank you, Lake County Poet Laureate 2020-2024 - Georgina Marie Guardado (The Bloom Literary Editor) and Jonah David Wakefield, for picking the precious poppies from the meadow of my words. This is an honor I'll remember... Click on the link to read- Unscientific and A Parallel World. Poet Laureate Georgina Marie Guardado has published two poems for National Poetry Month- The Dandelion and Over A Cup of Tea. I wrote the first under a spell of tragic optimism and the other under the spell of a power outage(so rare in the privileged life I lead.) Click on the link to savor both-

Your son calls me an infidel( The Fish Head-Part 4)

                            Yes, that is what your son called me the day he lit your pyre- you’re an infidel. You stay and enjoy the United States. Try not to call. My stomach churned, and my thighs wobbled as I pulled strands of hair from the crown of my head,  pulled them so hard, it bled, and now a tiny bald patch is visible. The pandemic created travel rules I couldn’t break, a distance I couldn’t traverse, and circumstances so new to everyone around us, we stopped being people we knew. With your double mastectomy, you were the most vulnerable person to being spotted by the virus. The citadels erected around you proved permeable as the virus wormed and hoisted itself into your body. I was incapacitated, but your son stood right beside you; he did all he could, and so did your daughter-in-law, your husband, your brother, and even your sister-in-law. I was the only one missing because, years back, I chose to plant myself in a different country. But I tweeted and posted. I begged for

Maa, Ginger or Cardamom? (The Fish Head- Part 3)

  Before I forget to tell you, I have decided not to participate in the Ganpati celebrations this year nor host Thanksgiving dinner. I need time to grieve. I thought we all needed it, or time to ponder, and reflect, and absorb what the pandemic made us experience. It was nothing short of a massacre last year. Everywhere you move, there are inescapable reminders that the pandemic is not yet over, and even if it was, it has scarred us in ways that would take years to heal, if not forget. Do we inspire so little emotion in each other as a community that we have ceased to care about loss? If it’s not mine, then have I lost anything? Society’s debauchery and superfluousness appal me. Our memories are short-lived. We get over too soon. We are desperate to celebrate; without the razzle-dazzle, is there anything to live, I wonder. The show must go on; the show must go with pizazz.  Since I cannot afford the panache, I will hermit myself close to you. The world will not stop by to notice my a

Maa,Me, and Mangoes (The Fish Head- Part 2)

  My therapist feels uncomfortable about my obsessive-compulsive routine of cleaning . A month back, I survived a squeaky clean bathroom slip all because I wanted to get the last strand of cobweb out from the right-most corner of the ten feet high ceiling. My elbow suffered a hairline fracture, and I am currently on anti-inflammatory pills. It alleviates the pain; however, something in my heart continues to ache. I have found a home remedy for it- ripe mango with soaked flattened rice- aam chura - just the way you fed me from an old steel bowl for morning breakfast during summer vacation at granny’s place in the village. The first morsel is enough to palliate the suffering; however, it’s when I peel the whole mango and bite into it with juices trickling down my fingers to arms and dripping off the elbows, forming small mango juice puddle on the kitchen floor, that I finally see you. Once I even licked you off from the vinyl floor. You tasted sweet- mango sweet. Later, the demon in my h


You don't have a mental disorder; you are not on Prozac or Alprazolam, and you definitely don't hallucinate except when you notice your body suddenly start to extend, much to your trepidation. Your arms, your hair, your legs, and your face, as you see in VFX movies, turn and twist, curl, and coil agonizingly into a faint chestnut brown creature, not just a creature, a fully formed Scorpion. You look at yourself in the mirror aghast as tears make an all too familiar entry into your eyes accompanied by a deep pinching pain, the same kind when your parents refused to buy you a pack of crayons, a pair of new school shoes, the gungroo for your dance class, the five-star chocolate. Mind you, they were not desires you could blow away like the fluffy head of the dandelion. They were necessities; in the absence of which the teachers unleashed a volley of words so acidic, it forced you to steal- you see, you can either beg, borrow, or steal. The first two alternatives being non-existe