Sindhu Varghese, INDIA


By the side of the busy road
Along which men and women
Race away to some
Unknown finishing line
And destinations...

With summer sun
Spewing out his fury
On the red bricks
And the gravel....
I saw her shoveling
A basketful of sand
To poise atop her head
With precision and skill
As she does with her life.

On to her burning, red cheeks
Trickles of sweat
Ran down along her brows.
A streak of vermilion
Lay smudged on the parting
Of her dark tresses
Glistening in the afternoon sun.

I see then, a flicker of a smile
So bright, though fleeting
On her parched, red lips
Even brighter than
Tiny mirrors on her 'choli'
Soaked to her skin...
As if she holds a little secret
Deep in her heart…
Or was it a fond thought
Of her darling little child
Asleep in a cloth cradle
Somewhere in the shacks nearby?
Anticipation or hope,
For a few priceless moments
Of bliss with her man, her beloved?
A dream of a better tomorrow
Sans travails of the rough grind?

No grousing on her plight
She just forges ahead
Her resolve, unwavering...
Taking her destiny
In her own callused hands
And builds it brick by brick
With a song in her soul......
And a beautiful flicker of a smile
On her parched, red lips......


Beautiful bride,
Kohl-lined doe-eyes,
Hennaed hands,
Take off your adornments
Stow away your lovely necklaces,
Ruby-studded bangles
And your dreams
Deep in the dark recess
Of the locked chest.

Wear a brand-new name
And a creaseless smile,
For all seasons and weather
Even for sizzling summers
And screaming tempests.

Hush up the chimes
Of your carefree laughter
Till the song of your soul
Fades into the roars
Of ocean of monotony.

Then you barter
Your dreams for love ...
Your memories for smiles.
Somewhere down the line
You become numb.
Like a cloistered weary skylark
You forget
The wings are meant for flight!

Day by day, you learn to pretend
You become adept
Playing to the crowd
When you look into the mirror
Your gaze will meet
The eyes of a stranger
Cold, inscrutable..

In the winds of time
Your cage crumbles
You venture out
With faltering steps
And timid wings
Only to find
Your azure sky is gone…
You open your mouth for a melody
Only to realize
Your sweet song is lost.
And gone forever!

Beautiful bride,
Kohl-lined doe-eyes,
Hennaed hands,
Take off your adornments
And your dreams......


When I was a child
I wished to be
A trapeze girl
I watched her,
With bated breath
Her glorious swings
And leaps
The vast white net
Floating mid air
Spectators, spellbound

With passing years
My dream flitted away

But then,
I realize
The acts I performed
With equal ease
All these years
Dicey and tricky
Flips and twirls
Before an audience, unseen
Cheering and clapping
I couldn't afford
To fumble or slip

It’s just that
I had no safety net

Sindhu Soosan Varghese is a homemaker who lives in Pune. She writes poetry both in English and Malayalam. She is an Agricultural Science graduate with an MBA and also holds a graduate degree in English Literature. She has published a poetry collection in Malayalam vaakku pookkunna yamangal. Her poems have been published in periodicals and online portals regularly. Her poems have been included in international anthologies too. Her favourite themes include love, feminine sensitivity, girl child and social issues

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