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A poem in free verse that incisively looks into the helpless heart of an Indian bride caught in an inevitable arranged marriage that takes her consent as implicit…
She sat with arms stretched out before her
Helpless in the moment, expected to savor
The festivities, music and dance around
The carefree laughter drifting in the background
Surrounded by family she was, ostensibly
She felt all alone, staring insensibly
At her hennaed hands, her feet still being treated
Like a canvas by her mehndi artists, art being created
On her limbs by the very best in town, because
The most spectacular wedding in town this was
Expected to be, no expense had been spared–
Despite all this, at her hands she stared
Her movement restricted by the henna that needed
Drying, therefore with outstretched arms she was seated
She smiled, realizing all of a sudden
Her physical helplessness was a reflection
Of her mental state- caught in the rigmarole
Of an elaborate wedding, with hardly a soul
Realizing how unhappy she was, how she
Wanted to run away, to scream hysterically
“This is my life, this is not what I wish”
She wanted to say, but her desires she had squished
The day she had agreed to the marriage arranged
Like a business partnership, things could not be changed
Now, her assent inexorably bound her to comply-
As she contemplated, a tear dropped from her eye
She could not wipe it, but no one asked why
She was crying, her tears were also misunderstood
To be tears of joy, no one around her could
Guess how miserable she felt, she was afraid to voice
Her concerns, her fear had led her to make this choice
She looked down, inspecting her hands with a sigh
Waiting for her unshed tears and henna to dry…
Image source: pixabay
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