Saturday, June 20, 2015

Naming

On those bricks
built as a bane,
was this plate clutched
garbled in gold
I saw letters rooted
like creepers crawling in vain
a language read as archaic allusion
as if plastered onto Pharaoh's pyramid.
The arrival was anticipated
and a coconut fell in salutation
when they told me
that their house was called
the land of one coconut tree.


Three houses away
their hut was known as
the land of three coconut trees,
while at a distance of two houses
along the orange mire's swamp
they called their hearth
the land of tigers,
for their great grand father
found a cub to pet
while on a spirited soldier's sojourn.


In that land, rivers have
pend poetry to christen houses
while nursery rhymes have babbled
from a four year old's lips
to reach her parents
when they baptized their abode
after their child's favourite fable.
Rambling along those shambles of soil
to kiss the horizon's hue.



Friday, June 5, 2015

Why make a woman's body a mannequin of religion and traditions?

I can never understand the reason behind the notorious display of jewelry on an Indian woman's body, after she gets wedded. Recently our next door neighbour got married, and she came home for the "pagg fera" looking like a human mannequin endorsing jewellery of all kinds. I mean one look at her, and you can spot everything from plastic bangles in red and white, which is called " chooda" to the vermilion, nose pin, toe rings, anklets and the black beaded noose "mangalsutra". This is a common sighting in much of India where the ornaments more or less differ. In the northern parts of India especially in Delhi, it is the chooda that you can spot, while in south India it will be an over-sized thali with a leaf shaped locket hanging from a gold chain. In places like Mumbai, the women never forget the toe rings. 
In most parts of India, the vermilion or sindoor is common, while everything else gets a special place on a woman's body as if it was a mannequin made of flesh and bones. It is amusing that even in today's times all these visible ornaments of marriage are forced upon a woman's body after marriage, to remind her of the privileges that a marriage and the presence of a man have bestowed on her. 
While nowhere in India, do the men adorn themselves with any of these symbolic ornaments, telling us of the notorious patriarchal norms that Indian marriages have been delving into. What amuses me is that amidst the "hue and cry" of gender equality, these kind of rigorous medieval customs are still a reality in India, and especially amidst educated well-read Indians. Surprisingly, most of these ornaments are a prideful possession for many women, who refuse to part from them. Most women are socially conditioned to wear them, so that their husbands have long, happy and healthy lives while they walk around looking like gaudy human bodies owned by patriarchal religious customs.