One hot summer afternoon,
Gadgets of entertainment did not yet exist,
And imagination was melting into puddles of sweat
That threatened to run down our backs soon, and arch them into defiance!
All my mother wanted was to wrap the cool grey of her bedroom
into her husband.
So, she negotiated with my sister and I
and offered us two of her sarees as playthings.
It should have been then that we ought to have known
Of the power we held – but we had no conception of desire then!
So, my mother handed us two sarees,
having calculated that the 11 odd meters would buy her a couple of hours.
We wrapped and unwrapped them, wound it up and opened it again
To style in different ways, marvelled at the mukaish
And our good fortune!
All the days of our lives, this saree hung pridefully in a steel cupboard
To touch it was blasphemy; and yet, here it was now cupped in our palms
As we rubbed our noses in it.
As the hours wore on, and the novelty wore off,
Our games became more challenging – magically converting the sari into a sled
Dragging each other down the corridor, tearing it to bits
(As blasphemy often is)
Sated thus, my mother found us surrounded in pieces of red chiffon
She laughed and said to our father “That was my wedding sari”
And they both held hands.
Yashika Singh is an aspiring poet and writer, based out of New Delhi. She is currently working on her collection of poems that explore the search for that which ‘solves’ us, the deus ex machina.