The Bride And Her Hands Covered In Henna

Posted: June 2, 2018

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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