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What Makes This A Mother’s Sin?

Posted: September 1, 2020

“Eclectic, interesting…will fill you with hope and resolve!” – Pick up our new short story collection, Women.Mutiny

Imagine what must be going through a mother’s mind, if this is the kind of choice she makes? Who’s to blame? Can anyone answer?

It was easy,
it was easy to listen to mother
talk about father
and her brother
and her neighbour,
to listen to her tell stories,
of few men ruining lives and
a handful of them,
paying the price
for the sins of their kind

It was easy,
it was easy to see or rather,
imagine their being,
from beneath the armoured pallu
of my worldly wise mother,
I had enough stories to hear
before witnessing and
before becoming
a storyteller myself

It was easy,
it was supposed to be,
I’d innocently assumed because-
it would be long before I see them, the men
and my ears were wise and full,
and almost overflowing with stories,
stories of men

And then I grew up,
I don’t know when
and the armoured pallu was gone
as I draped myself in a same one with
borders of ancestry zari and eternal pain
and I was surprised because,
it was not easy,
not at all easy
like I had presumed

For a ninety nine shoves and gropes
I was only once tenderly touched,
for every hundred and ninety nine slurs
I was called out lovingly only twice,
for every thousand times I was made
to cry,
I was only cried for when I was married off

And then I grew up,
I don’t know when
and before I knew
I was spreading my pallu
to shelter my little one,
and talking about men,
few men ruining lives and
a handful of them,
paying the price
for the sins of their kind

This is not enough,
my pallu said and
I believed
so I did what my mother should also have done,
sheltered my little one…
with my pallu,
this time-round her neck,
I wept and talked about men,
one last time
and one last time,
my daughter gasped.

If you or anyone you know is feeling depressed or suicidal, here are some of the helplines available in India. Please call. 
Aasra, Mumbai: 022-27546669
Sneha, Chennai: 044-2464 0050
Lifeline, Kolkata: 033-2474 4704
Sahai, Bangalore: 080–25497777
Roshni, Hyderabad: 040-66202000, 040-66202001

Image source: shutterstock

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