Tag Archives: #wife

KHAKI SHIRT

Feather as unique as she

decorated the lining of the leather-bound book

not a day spent outside the library

the ancient library enhanced the scent of musk

deeper every day she nestled

her thoughts in his books

whilst he knotted her braids

in babyish pleasure

Till she dug her head deep in his Khaki shirt

Till she met the warmth of his soft brown eyes

Humbled, but his smile didn’t reach his eyes

a flicker of sadness, a pang of guilt

why was he spinning, the web of lies?

Selfless in his pursuit had he been

undaunted, his intentions clear

then why did he hesitate,

his forehead beaded with sweat,

his eyes filled with tears?

Oblivious, she swayed

to the sound of Sinatra

mirroring her mother’s

a faint remembrance

the sweet serendipity

now made him shudder

Hollowed by her loss,

staring at the stone-cold body

he couldn’t have left her orphaned

Every dawn, now a sweet presence

of her exuberant self, and his khaki shirt

a mirror image of her mother’s

of her dimpled smile and her turquoise eyes

radiant as her, she filled the hollowed space of his

like a breath of fresh air

strolling hand in hand, the moist earth beneath

their bare feet

in her yellowed sundress

and his khaki shirt

ANOUSHKA MUKHERJI

The poem signifies a father-daughter relationship and how much the father loves his daughter. Every day the girl sits in his enormous library and spends all her day reading with him, the sweet scent of his khaki shirt fills her nose every time he braids her hair. Here we are made to understand that the girl’s mother has died and she has only her father left to take care of her. There is a hint of sadness and regret looming in the air. The father feels guilt because he couldn’t save her wife and for that, he feels intense remorse. But the girl is seemingly unaware of this, an exact replica of her mother, mirroring even her dance moves. The father hesitates with once what had been determination to tell his daughter bout the truth and finds it difficult to bring him to tell her this. The last five lines of the poem describes how his late wife had been, radiant and full of life, and had made him complete. The poem is composed of a sad note which speaks of loneliness and longing. The story also represents how beautiful the bond between a father and a daughter can be. The girl unaware of anything gives all her love to her father and adores him while the father is still guilt-ridden and refrains from fully loving her daughter. Her every step is a painful reminder of her wife’s death and how unjust it is for the girl to grow up without a mother. This story ends on a semi sad note but also shows how the husband is remembering his late wife, of happier and blissful times.

The poetic devices included in this poem are mostly metaphors

The Bangle Sellers- The Indian Journey!

Bangle sellers are we who bear
Our shining loads to the temple fair…
Who will buy these delicate, bright
Rainbow-tinted circles of light?
Lustrous tokens of radiant lives,
For happy daughters and happy wives.

Some are meet for a maiden’s wrist,
Silver and blue as the mountain mist,
Some are flushed like the buds that dream
On the tranquil brow of a woodland stream,
Some are aglow with the bloom that cleaves
To the limpid glory of newborn leaves

Some are like fields of sunlit corn,
Meet for a bride on her bridal morn,
Some, like the flame of her marriage fire,
Or, rich with the hue of her heart’s desire,
Tinkling, luminous, tender, and clear,
Like her bridal laughter and bridal tear.

Some are purple and gold flecked grey
For she who has journeyed through life midway,
Whose hands have cherished, whose love has blest,
And cradled fair sons on her faithful breast,
And serves her household in fruitful pride,
And worships the gods at her husband’s side.

The Bangle sellers has been written by the Indian poet Sarojini Naidu. The poem delves into the different stages in the life of an Indian woman, the culture and traditions.

The central point of concern in this poem is bangles and the poet showcases the growth and different stages of the Indian woman’s life through the different bangles. The Bangle sellers selling the different tinted bangles to the temple fair are just a medium through which Naidu communicates and reveals the growth of a young girl to a mature woman nursing a child.

The Bangle is a jewel that reflects the Indian culture and the repetition of the word happy in the first stanza shows that bangles are associated with joyful occasions when girls and women dress up and participate in celebrations like marriage, festivals etc.

The bangles are called delicate in the first stanza which is reflective of the girl in her younger years. The bangles are said to be blooming and flushing in the second stanza which reflects the young girl growing up into a maiden. The bangles are described to be bright and fiery and rich like the heart’s desire reflective of the married Indian woman. The words “grey”, “journeyed”, “cherished” shows the woman has journeyed her life halfway.

The bridal laughter and bridal tear is the transition from the young maidenhood to marriage when the woman has to leave her house to stay with her husband in the Indian setting. The cradling of fair sons is problematic in the current context. It brings out the evil of male preference and the killing of the girl child. Had Naidu replaced the word sons with “children” the poem would have been more visionary and in touch with the postmodern setting. However, her apt use of sons paints the true contemporary picture of the Indian society where everyone preferred sons to daughters.

The word happy wives is debate worthy. Naidu uses the word happy in general to describe the joy that comes with ornaments however a closer reading tells us that wives are expected to be happy and it doesn’t seem to give them a choice. To dwell on a sarcastic idiom it seems that happiness as an abstract is thrust upon them instead of it being exuded independently by the married woman. The traditional Indian setting didn’t allow married women to fully exercise their independence and was often suppressed by the in-laws to abide by the household customs irrespective of the wife’s opinion. The wife was moulded into the in-laws’ customs and this often led them to be unhappy but they were neither given the independence to revolt nor express sorrow.