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Inviting Submissions for the month of December

We all see dreams. Don’t we? No, I am not talking about the one you see as being awake, like the dreams you have of becoming a doctor, an engineer or a writer and so on. I am here talking about the dreams you see while asleep, those which transfer your mind, body and soul into another realm of fantasy, sometimes truthful enough as if you are truly experiencing them.  And when you are awake you feel the essence of those dreams so strong that sometimes they stay with you for days, months or even long. Thus my dear fellow writers I am sure you must have guessed by now.  Yes, this month’s theme is to write a short story, poem or any piece of article that interprets about dreams and you can directly submit it to Kalaage or can email your proposal to monalisajoshi@outlook.com with “Plethora Submission” in the subject line.

You can be expressive of any of your true dreaming experience or create one. And if you wish you can share the story behind your write up, I would be much interested to read and publish them as well but keep it short. You are allowed to create a whimsical, folklore; fantasy based imaginative story or a poem about dreams. Length is as much you desire in poems but for stories keep it within 10, 000 word limit. Before submitting kindly go through the following guidelines.

  1. You can send one poem of any length.
  2. Likewise you can choose to send a short story on the theme given above keeping it within 10, 000 maximum word limit. However minimum word limit should be 3000 words not less than that.
  3. For articles you can send some research work about the same, if anything that truly fascinates your mind, but the work should be your own and if you are using any information source for your piece then do mention the link and name of the book or the author.
  4. Use Times New Roman with standard font size point 12, and do make sure that your work is proofread, typographical error free and your original piece.
  5. Previously published work is acceptable but you should be the sole owner of it.
  6. Only one poem, a short story or an article will be entertained per household, which means you can choose either to send any one of the above.
  7. Submission ends on 30th December 2017 (IST).

 

I hope you find the topic enthralling and inspiring, and it will make you hold the pen or your laptops and let those creative vibes flow out of them, as much I am willing to read your work.

 

Once again Happy Writing!

 

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The Gift of Forefathers

We are born. We live our life. We all die.  But when we live, we make memories. Knowingly or unknowingly, we follow the tradition, values, habits and much more which our ancestors had been following. The values, beliefs, and traditions become an integral part of life. We just not inherit the property and money; we also take over the legacy of customs, beliefs, tradition and teachings of our forefathers.

 

We may travel or live in any part of the world we will be still connected to our country, why?  Why is that we miss our home food, the festivities, the belief? Why do we follow certain rituals without even knowing the reason behind it? The Indian woman adorns herself with bindhi, sari and much more. The swastika, the religious symbol is the important symbol in our festivals. The guest visiting our home is equivalent to god.  Why do we follow all customs?

There are so many questions which pop up. The only answer is the legacy. These beliefs and customs are the gifts from our forefathers. They believed in it and followed it. These habits and rituals are a kind of USB which connect us with our ancestors. The relation with our descendants is intact because of customs and habits which our grandmother and mothers taught us.

There are some grandma habits which I follow in my routine life even today. One of them is the usage of mud kitchenware. I was hardly 6 when I asked my granny why you don’t use the modernized kitchen vessels. Why do you like making dosas on iron tawa instead of modernized equipment? She smiled. I was puzzled. The following day, I had dosa for my breakfast. I could taste little difference in the dosa. Nevertheless, I chose to ignore it. The same happened for lunch and dinner. Out of curiosity, I asked my grandmother about the taste. She replied with a smile. I was feeling little unusual. I got to know that the modern vessels are responsible for the changed taste. She then explained me the essence of using the mud pots and iron tawa. The nutrients content remain the same when we cook in the mud pots. And the mud pots enhance the taste of the food rather than submerging it. The iron Tawas make the dosa crisp and build up the iron content in it. I, even today use mud pots for cooking. It’s one of beneficial legacy I received from my grandmother.

In India, the significance of jewellery is well known. Every jewellery piece has its tale and represents the prestige of a woman, sacred symbol in all the festive days and even during the death funeral. Jewellery’s role in death funeral is rare to hear fact.  In Rajasthan, the woman wears a head jewellery called “bor” (round centrepiece and has chain links which extend and it is hanged with a hook in the hair just above the ear).It’s a suhagan jewellery (piece of jewellery which a lady can wear only after the wedding). The bride gets it on the day of her wedding from her in-laws. It’s adorned by every married woman after her marriage. Every important occasion, it can be any special day; a Rajasthani woman decorates herself with this piece of jewellery. Nevertheless, once during a funeral at my place, I found little strange that every married woman adorned herself with bor. I was baffled that except that of bor every other thing they wore even the color of the saree was according to the situation. Burning with curiosity, I enquired about it.  I got to know that it’s the custom followed for decades by their grannies. Now they are practising it. And this legacy will carry on from generation to generation. The reason behind this is very elementary and plain. It’s just worn because rest of the thing they wear to a funeral is dull color clothing and almost no jewellery. Wearing the bor symbolizes they are married women.  Moreover, Rajasthani’s believe, all dull and no jewellery for a married woman may bring bad luck.d1902c67ed7f50f19f7fedb5c3974b37--rural-india-india-fashion

Another interesting inherited habit from our ancestor is the home remedies, which we still follow.  Sometimes it makes me wonder how all these home remedies work. Without having any doctor degree granny’s home medicine do magic in healing.  Are you tired of coughing? Is allopathic medicine not working? My granny has magical syrup. Syrup of pomegranate’s dried skin boiled in water. It works like magic. Feeling uneasy?  2 Tablespoon lemon juice and hot water with salt and pepper comforts your uneasiness in minutes. Tragacanth gum, a “must have” product in all Rajasthani houses is the best medicine for mouth ulcers. When we denied going to school complaining of having stomach pains, granny would give us carom seeds mixed with little salt to drink along with water and send us to school.  Water mixed with salt and sugar can help us from diarrhea. Seena leaves for constipation. The home medicine list is the never-ending one. My ancestors practiced these home medicines and passed on this legacy. Even today my granny tells us the story of their home medicine’s wonder. Now we have doctors on every street. But 20-30 years back finding a doctor that too in the countryside was near to impossible. The only ray of hope was home medicine. It is a gift to us from our ancestors. It connects us to the past. Today when I use these home tricks I remember my grandparents.  It’s one of the best things I have inherited.

Today we live in apartments. Independent houses are rare to find. Families living with extended family are quite an unusual thing. Regardless of this fact, when I go to my village, where my ancestors lived I find a house of legacy. It’s a century old individual house.  Its a big house where 20-25 people can stay together. The house had a privilege which most of the kids belonging to this era do not have. The house had pictured 3 generation of the extended family living together in harmony and love. Inside the house, there is an open area just closed with iron grills called Chowk. All the houses had the same style of architecture. All the house had chowk as a sign of good luck. As the sun rises, the ray of hope and happiness and good luck reaches the house.  Sadly, I cannot find chowk in any of the modern houses. My granny says if we have chowk at home, Vaastu does not need a check.  I live in a joint family with extended family. My home has a chowk. Living with extended family is pure bliss. There are advantages of living in a joint family. It has its own essence. My grandparents have passed on this legacy of living in joint family. In spite of difference, I live in a joint family. It helps us in the fine-tuning of our relationship with others. The chowk connects us with our forefathers. It reminds us of the bygone era and architecture.

“The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but things of your forefathers and yours passed on to your blood remains as a legacy”- anonymous

For instance, I being a vegetarian is because of my ancestors. I am proud of every gift they have given me. The above mentioned are few of them. When mother and grandmother tell us the tale of the past. Listen to it carefully. Knowingly, they are preparing us for the future and passing on their legacy. The gift of custom, beliefs, rituals, habits and tradition which may help us in a lot of ways. Every tale of theirs has some hidden message for. They pass on their experience and lessons learned from their fathers and mothers to their children as bonuses and reward. Where ever we go and where ever we may live their teachings, beliefs, tradition and custom will connect us to our motherland and ancestors. Our origination will remain intact.

Article By: A. Divya Jain

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A. Divya Jain is a passionate writer. She has a blog and her certain previous work has been published in the magazine “Infinite Thoughts”.


I Carry Her Shade

They envied me for carrying beauty,

Asking how I could steal the charm of flowers;

They envied me for working hard on my duty,

Asking how I could steal the devotion of the divine;

They envied me for being a universal lover,

Asking how I could steal the heart of nature;

They envied me for giving a brave cover,

Asking how I could steal the thunder of storms;

They envied me for being perseverant,

Asking how I could steal the strength of mountains;

They envied my humility in being tolerant,

Asking how I could steal the humbleness of rivers;

They envied me for being simple and kind,

Asking how I could steal the serenity of the sky;

They envied me for spreading thoughts of a bright mind,

Asking how I could steal the sparks of a firefly;

They envied me for being vibrant without worries,

Asking how I could steal the dynamism of wind;

They envied me for my fascinating stories,

Asking how I could steal the music of the Gods;

To all of which, I just uttered,

I am only a shadow of my mother.

Now, there is no more hatred,

And everywhere it is shade…

 

Poem By: Ruchika Pahwa

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About the Author

Ruchika Pahwa, born and brought up in New Delhi, India, is an editor and writer by profession. She is also a psychologist and human resource professional, who turned to become a content management consultant when her passion became her profession. Ruchika is currently living happily with her parents and two siblings in New Delhi. She is an ardent lover of poetry, music, food, photography and all that invites creativity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tabooed

 

Hush, we don’t speak about it!

They whispered at the back of,

The curtains and soon the older

Voice, whose face was hidden,

Behind her tippet, was giggling,

In a laughter loud, then the other,

Mellowed voice hushed her with,

A pat, hush now, we don’t speak,

Of it before the marital bliss, it’s,

Resting as a sacred fruit, lying in,

Your belly there, for you to know,

To be tasted by both, him and you,

Through your nuptial nights,

And many more nights of bliss,

 

Awaits you to go, do not be wild,

Stay in your confines, let him make,

The stir first, but don’t forget to reveal,

Your clandestine passion and needs,

Resting to be unfolded by his manly,

Touch; give him the glass of milk,

It’s for them to sulk deeper into their,

Deviant amorous moods, for you he waited,

And you for him, the divine sacrament,

Of your life would begin on a bed,

And so the maids are adorning it with hues,

Of spring, from velvety roses, to jasmine,

And tuberose’s fine, they shall fill both,

Your senses to make the night desiring,

 

And the gang giggled again in between,

Hearing of the older woman’s rhyme,

They were all whispering the songs of,

Hymen, the songs of nuptial, telling new,

Bride to utter coyness, for they loved,

Much their women to be shy hush oh!

Hush not to speak of your earthly love,

And neither spread words of how good,

Your male makes love! They are there, sitting,

Afar, they fetch your men in dark hours,

It’s their stomach that fills with manly odours,

You my dear one, never fear, tie him in,

Love yours so pure and sinuous both,

Make him love you more time and forth,

 

This red attire will come to the floor, and,

You shall stand as transparent as ever in his,

Twain eyes, make him see your pure soul,

For he deserves more and much of you,

Let him play a little abuse, on your bare,

Skin; allowing him to reach your heart,

You too shall see, tonight the forbidden,

The tabooed love, hush oh! Hush girls,

We are women, don’t gossip these words,

Here in these parts, and amid the teasing,

And widened eyes of other youthful,

Women, the older woman kept on telling,

 

The tales of romance hush oh! Hush,

We don’t talk about this, we are tabooed,

Said the older woman, from behind her weary,

Eyes, and all the time the curtain of their mud,

Casements kept flowing hearing incessant whispers,

Of these women who were bound within their,

Confines, yet they talked of making love,

And of earthly desires, from the mouths,

Of their descendants came travelling the folklore,

Of man and woman’s corporeal love,

Ti’s the eastern world where the god dwells,

And the fruit is ever ripe for man to make love,

The taboo was just a myth, even in the,

Hushed tones! They whispered the forbidden words…

 

Poem By: Monalisa Joshi

Prologue

 

 

 

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He didn’t wanted to go inside there anymore, that depressed dwelling where,

All the reminiscences of his muse were still alive, merely the nights forced,

Him to come back to that carcass dwelling, that had become his sole lover now,

An old kaput, wrinkled and torn muse made of concrete and bricks,

Adorned with soiled curtains in the inside, the panes of the casement were mucky,

Neither light dared now to enter through them, and in nights he often got hurt,

Bumping into the wooden fixtures and mostly cursed them in that moment,

And every day when tears did came out from his weary eyes without taking,

Permission, his set of rule it was of course, he was the king of his time and even,

The breeze in the house took his consent to flow, then who was she to defy those,

The pots and pans were lying untouched for long, bodies corroded all with rustic hue,

The blue flames didn’t rise anymore; neither there was smoke in the kitchen,

Of varied spices, the aromas of kingly meals were long lost in time,

The place was quiet, filled more with the smell of rotten vegetables in the air,

Dust was sitting in layers on the tables and on mahogany furniture,

That once they bought together, everything was hand-picked by her,

Adorned in their nest with love and passion, alas! The place has become a derelict,

Which was once the most peaceful place on earth, where he found solace and,

Love to his heart’s content, now it filled him with more hollowness and loathe,

Infrequently it seemed more grotesque trying to eat his soul alive,

Thus Anishvara kept absconding from his situation, but there was no place left,

For him that would gave him solace, he tried roving in those spaces which he,

Earlier detested trying to find peace, but all he found was darkness and deeper void,

He was the beggar of his own kingdom; his manor had valises filled with pennies,

Emeralds, rubies and gold but now they laid all covered in dust and cobwebs,

One birth wouldn’t be enough for him to spend all those, though he was the most,

Wastrel of his reign, he was losing it all in wine, women and more, yet found peace,

Nowhere and in none, his muse was aware of all and she cried in her solace seeing,

The downfall of the man once she loved alas!

Seeing the downfall of the man once she loved…

 

*Anishvara* Male Protagonist

 

~Monalisa Joshi~

 

 

Revelations

What is it that you love me about?

I asked and there was no answer,

All lips were sealed and hearts chained,

They had stopped loving me long before,

I could know, their gestures tell me,

That I am not welcomed, not anymore,

The queen and king once who ruled the house,

Their hearts have turned ice, their faces pale,

And a wrinkled body wrapped in clothes,

Merely breathing, those shoulders which I,

Perhaps needed to utter some of my tales,

Of hurt and pain have now become weak,

To bear my melancholic words!

Alas, I have stopped speaking the truth,

 

Even that lane going to that dwelling,

Has a dead end, often reminding me that,

I am standing at the end of all the old ties,

Those were soon going to perish in dust,

But still my feet takes me there, my maternal,

Home where now the air seems much,

Eccentric and how I am seeing it all falling,

In front of my eyes, the house of might once,

Whose walls even reciprocated tender love,

And warmth, have now changed into bushy,

Thorns that pricks the skin of a daughter more,

Now the kingdom is ruled by another queen,

Her set of rules are not to mingle, not to glee,

Let the daughter cry the most painful sobs!

Her barbed mansion is not for me anymore,

 

I know it well now, that one day my maternal,

Home will become history for me, kaput as it can,

Be, it shall stand there, holding myriad tales of,

Despair, somewhere in its heart holding the chapter,

Of my existence! Yes it eyes me I know with the same,

Love, I know the walls still want to embrace me,

I know in its solace, when darkness prevails,

It even cries myriad tears of despair, it has now,

Its own story, holding the tears of my mother’s sigh,

Her silence and her mourning, only I can hear,

Lost beneath the crevices and fissures covered,

With white paint now, that white doesn’t appeal me,

Anymore it seems as if a dead house is wrapped,

In white sheets and its sepulchre I am visiting,

 

The rituals say so, not others not them who are in,

Grave for long now, “A daughter is someone else’s keep”,

Are you following them, even in these modern days?

Why? Am I a burden to be kept in your hearts?

Forever! If not in that dwelling whose threshold,

Even stops me, antagonistic words floating in the air,

Uncanny smell of hatred, perhaps I am more sensitive,

I feel much, I over think; my bonds are not for purpose,

To rob or to steal, I am your daughter and not a dacoit,

The blood flowing in my veins is yours’ and shall be ever,

Then how I am any different now, just because I am far,

With my king, believe me my mansion is much barbed,

My threshold is thornier then yours’ it can chain me,

Forever, you have to understand this I have a heart that,

 

Still lies there, thinking and often worrying too much,

For both of you, and forgive me if my revelations are gallant!

 

~Monalisa Joshi~5ede63960f2a142e4fc85952111b9d7a

 

 

Mistress

No don’t bother to ask, “Did you feel bad?

Did I hurt you with my most harsh tone?”

I am too busy nowadays to hear such words,

My role is to play that perfect mistress,

Who is pampered more and loved more!

 

I wonder seldom, how rest of the days,

Are easily forgotten, When I had stood,

On my toes to make the most comforting,

Dwelling, petite but full of warmth and love,

Alas! My love is merely as dust beneath the rug,

 

Shrugged off easy, and mostly broomed out,

Yet I am tall enough to read your thoughts,

From the higher surface, I observe all but I,

Never express irk, my words are washed ten,

Times and weighed less, before they are spoken,

 

I remain tangled in chores, but my clothes,

Aren’t dirty, I wear the perfect pricey,

Attire, how can I ever let my worth be lowered?

My strength comes from that to hold on,

Oh dear! Even when I had downpour over me,

 

From the darkest of clouds, when my tears,

Were like ocean, incessant and full of salt,

I still was in the pricey attire, so they merely,

Saw me from beneath my neck and not my,

Pale face and swollen eyes, oh! I am a woman!

 

I stay graceful even with a melancholic heart,

My soul has the sturdiest glue, it keeps the,

Lips sealed, so do not worry you shall never,

Hear the words you never want to hear,

Ah! They say that my face is mostly radiant,

 

And I take pride, because I haven’t told them,

I have a concealed truth, I am a doppelganger,

I keep the ugly one at home, and I am the,

Beautiful one outside, I laugh! I socialize!

Welcomed at home again by the gloomy one,

Sometimes even I despise her, then I feel the,

Poor thing is just here to help, come on darling,

Don’t look at her; she is simply your slave!

She only listens from ears and not her heart,

Enjoin her, command her and even thrash her,

 

Who cares, all eyes reaching to that lane are,

Blind, love me only! I am your perfect Mistress…

 

Poem By ~ Monalisa Joshi~

 

The Pilgrim

The man was the sole wanderer in the,

Desert of love, he sold his soul to the,

Oracle of time, trading for a woman one,

He hadn’t seen yet, the sanctuary was,

There he knew but from where to begin,

He walked barefoot, miles and miles,

Burnt his skin under the hottest sun,

When his own sweat, became the rivulet,

He was half sunk with thirst unquenched,

For the water was salted, he couldn’t,

Satiate his thirst, neither his desires of,

Youth as a man, he was the lost pilgrim!

 

In the city of sand, this seemed as vast,

Like a dried ocean, as far the eyes could,

Go he saw hillocks spreading wide,

There was no ship of the desert, he had,

To walk, for he oathed so in his dreams,

His soul was traded for a visit one,

To the shrine where he would find peace,c63c5efb5bd27f5c300205a04b67f4167976607a-tc-img-original

His skin burnt, so did his corporal body,

Slowly he was turning into a carcass,

With pieces of flesh clinging barely to,

The bones, horrifying sight he witnessed!

 

Yet, what was that craving, that never seemed,

Quenched, his throat wasn’t parched it was,

His soul! It was probing something, someone,

A woman, who was nowhere to be found in,

That nightmare, he feared he had lost her,

That unknown face, but yet he wanted her,

By his side, at last he found the sanctuary,

Situated within an oasis, where he saw mere,

Reflection of a woman, who was filling quietly,

Her earthen pots, the ripples even remained,

Silent not disturbing her peaceful heart,

And how much now he willed to see her face,

 

As she removed the veil, it was none but his,

Own beloved, and his heart made loud thuds,

Inside his brawny chest, knocking him to be,

Awake and so he was, he now knew there was,

No need for him to visit myriad shrines for,

Finding that thing lost, either to quench his,

Abiding thirst, the sanctuary was his home,

Where they lived aside each other, he realized,

That he was the pilgrim of his own nest,

Which was filled with love, and how much,

Solace he felt melting into her peacefulness,

Was visible on his face, he was a changed man!

 

~Monalisa Joshi~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kolkata Mindfulness

 

Resting like a cocoon it has been long,

I didn’t realize when I became a butterfly,

Of human soul and had wings to fly high,

I was living there in her lap naively,

With eyes closed hearing to the town’s

Lullabies that came from the hustle-bustle,

Of Nawabganj and of many things I didn’t

Realize I had in my frock’s pocket, as I roamed,

Around a little girl, but my soul an observer,

Oft brings back the reminiscences of those lanes,

 

I have walked, watching the ducks in the,

Green ponds, swimming and quacking,

Idly seldom times, on the still waters that,

Twinkled with the sunlight, they loved the sun,

Even on warm dawns, that started with the,

Smell of smoke rising from the dung and coal,

Stoves, the mud tilled homes and roofs,

And women wearing thick cotton saris,

Blowing the first fire to the mornings’ sleep,

To be broken as the inmates too awake,

 

The mornings were always busy, not like here,

The women yelled, men shouted each other,

Amid their morning chores, those particular cries,

I had always enjoyed, they reflected love,

Warmth and care, I have seen yet not seen,

They were just scenes of a day in my life,

That I spent in there in holidays, now they,

Have become part of me, as I am far from,

Those smell of fish curries, cooked on earthen stoves,

Filled in the house of my uncle’s and aunt’s

The fish fresh from the Ganges, dipped fry,

 

What days were those! When careless and free,

I haven’t thought would become part of me,

When I grow up, pushed far into the mediocre,

Life, yet I remember those slumbering noons,

When there were feasts in all the homes,

Of that narrow brick lane, the windows nets,

And slow-moving table fans blew the essence,

Of delicious meat rice in the air, days on,

When our hunger roared with increased appetite,

Now no more are such feasts, nor those essences,

 

I smell, it wasn’t only those days I miss, that love,

Of all the aunt’s and grand ma, fresh in my soul,

Fresh in my heart, the days are lying alive, when,

Small and curious I used to go my grandmother’s

Small room, where she sat and prayed for long,

Those many racks in her room filled with,

Idols and gods, she bathed those with sandal,

Paste and Ganges water, her white sari, the,

Sandal paste on her forehead, the Rudraksh

Necklace around her neck, that smell of her older,

 

Being is still fresh in me; many are lost in time,

Or perhaps it’s me, who has come lot ahead in time!

Those giggles and laughter of my childhood,

Audible only to me, when we pulled buckets filled,

With cool waters from the well, pouring over,

Each other and then shivered for long,

The mornings were fun even more when,

Children all made a gang to bathe in the Ganges,

For hours and hours the boys played, as I sat,

On the stairs watching the world moving slow,

 

The women cooked and gossiped, cared not I,

I had chirped and hopped from house to house,

Playing, and roamed around with my cousins,

On the evenings watching the sunset over the Ganges,

That crimson hue, the twinkling waves and the,

Sounds of the steamer still echoes inside of me,

The fresh cool breeze that touched our naive skins,

And our feet dipped in the pious river,

Time seemed frozen when, and the world small,

In here I feel seldom stuck, trying to go back there,

 

When I have seen those days of autumn,

Women dressed in white and red sari, playing

Vermillion Holi, as the air turned red, I saw,

Goddess in all, such beautiful red faces of joy,

I am far away now to all that’s has been once,

My pride, now a hilly bride I am in another space,

I still pick pieces of broken earthen pots and smell them,

Trying to feel the same essence, my childhood is caged,

In them, when we ate yogurt from small mud pots,

I kept licking long even when the curd was done,

 

That taste of mud, I am so lost to find it back,

When the crowd of local trains agitated me,

But the ride on the ferry over the heart of the Ganges,

Overjoyed me, and one more time I want to live,

Again those childhood days spent in Kolkata,

To glimpse again those Raj structures, imperial,

But dead, I am still wandering in those streets,

Near the Fairy House, awestruck eyes I had always,

Dreamt of going inside, now only I have few grains,

Of sand stuck in my palm of past, of lost time,

 

And I don’t know from where the tears come from,

When I wave that little girl, who waves at me,

With a big smile, resting as she sits beside her,

Beautiful young mother, the ferry keeps moving,

Farther and further, and I stand a mute observer,

Often nostalgic, I want to borrow some more glee,

From that girl’s lap, and keep safe in my abode,

And the fragrance of tuber roses and jasmine from,

Nuptial nights I attended there, are fresh and reminds,

Me of lost, but not forgotten my Kolkata mindfulness…

 

~ Monalisa Joshi~

Glossary

Nawabganj: A small town in Kolkata where the poet has spent a good amount of her childhood days.

 

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Indian Goddesses of the Kitchen

That place is their second home, where,

Most hours of their lives are spent,

Yes! There is a small temple which,

Isn’t visited by the horde, but the Goddesses,

Live there, its’ most often filled with smoke,

The overpowering smells of spices and herbs,

That stays on their hands, even when they,

Are done with their making varied victuals,

But how much their lovers crook their faces,

And nose while being passionate towards their,

Lady love, alas! That stubborn culprit stays long,

Those smell of garlic and pungent herbs remaining,

Still fresh on their hands and ordinary clothes,

Often becomes the reason for spoiling romance,

And again with dawn, the Goddesses awake,

Entering into their temple, awakening the steel,

Utensils with clamming sounds and when she,

Begins making the paste of spice over the,

Brawny chest of the grindstone, and her delicate,

Hands rolls the spherical stone crushing few chillies,

And cloves, it seems she crushes all her emotions,

Of her melancholic heart, and gets the paste,

Of love, for the grindstone’s love for his Goddess,

Comes out as she smiles in solace collecting the,

Spice from its rock body, its chest then swells in pride,

For it remains the clandestine lover of hers’,

Soon then the smell of the oil burning in the pan,

Fills into the nostrils of the inmates, as they,

Hide their sleepy faces beneath the pillows,

And silently cursing the Goddess for the chaos,

In that small, hot and murky place called the ‘kitchen’,

And then the whupishhh sound, the tempering,

Of bay and curry leaves, mixed with Asafoetida,

Tells her benign presence, into that smoky temple,

Where seasons’ effects are the most,

Summer makes them prettier, with drops of sweat,

Sitting gracefully like pearls of salt on their forehead,

Which she carefully wipes now and then,

With one end of her sari, that stays tucked to her waist,

A serpent like braid also moves along with her,

Elegant pelvic moves, but she is not the one,

There to seduce thy lust, oh! She is busy to create,

Those divine delicacies to make their appetite roar,

Hoping to make way into the hearts of their men,

How naive! She is doing it day every, nights all,

Still trying to find the way to rule thy hearts,

But a twisted, discontented face she gets all in the end,

Even if there is a pinch of salt less or more,

If the red chilli has made the colour more crimson,

The Goddesses then have to listen to the,

Incessant complains and yet she manages to smile,

In the mid of that mayhem, knowing that another day is,

Going to be a struggle, to make that ‘Perfect’ platter,

That will erase all the downbeat thoughts from,

Their lover’s mind, poor thing! Even the slumber,

Of these Goddesses are filled with the nightmares,

Of hollow boxes of supplies, and that challenging,

Question which evermore sits on their heads,

Like the ‘Asura’ whom once Goddess Durga,

Annihilated, but now he has taken disguise in the,

Form of that abiding question, what to make,

Today, tomorrow and day after tomorrow,

These Goddesses yet, in the mid of the chaos,

Often think while cooking, oh! That wedding,

Function is near; a birthday ceremony is approaching,

Oh my God! What will I wear, and in between,

Her vegan pot kept on low flame, she inquests into,

Her wardrobe, flipping and turning few saris,

Now the Indian Goddesses have the most critical,

Thing in her mind, during her respite from the kitchen,

She has to look beautiful, and when the day comes,

Her hands which had ruined myriad nights,

Of love making and seldom that romantic mood,

Of their lovers, but tonight she paints them in colour,

She wears her much worn silk Sari, even the jasmines,

Take pride in days those when she adorn them on her,

Neat chignon, yes! She knows when to be the queen,

Yes! She looks beautiful, the Goddess then roams,

Amid many of her kind, they all might be the slaves,

In their kitchen, but when outside they are the perfect,

Mistress of their men, albeit reaching home she shall again,

Jig into those ordinary crumpled clothes, no matter,

How messed up she stays, her dwelling remains neat,

She changes the sheet, but again her story from next,

Day begins into that kitchen, where turmeric will,

Ruin her beautiful painted nails, some will even crack,

But she won’t bother; she finds solace in her little,

Kitchenette, and how much she does it fine, the belly of,

Their men would tell, yes! She will always be that,

Gorgeous mistress outside, without letting the world,

Know, her demeanour will be like an elite woman,

Who does no chores and has servants around,

The Indian wives know it all, they are the Goddesses,

Of the kitchen, undeniably the best aromas rise from,

Their kitchens when they are fully awakened,

As much they are the figurine of covetousness into the,

Eyes of their men, yes such Indian Goddesses do exist…

 

Glossary

*Asura* A member of a class of divine beings in the Vedic period, which in Indian mythology tend to be evil

*Durga* Hindu Goddess

Poem By ~ Monalisa Joshi~