Elizabeth Kurian ‘Mona’, INDIA

Exclusive: Best of Women Poetry: Edited by Padmaja Iyengar-Paddy

The goddess of wealth in the Hindu pantheon is called Lakshmi
A popular name given by poor parents for daughters’ prosperity. 
Our Lakshmi’s life had no carefree childhood, not enough food
School was for boys, not for girls - at housework she was good.
As she grew up, she worked as a maid in many houses,
- Married off as soon as possible by her aging parents.

To put up with the actions of her husband she learned
Though he drank and wasted most of what he earned.
If she ever dared to question him, he badly thrashed her
She had to live with him though he often harassed her.
With her meager earnings she tried to run her house,
Meanwhile gave birth to a child without much fuss;

She did not name her darling daughter Lakshmi
But after the goddess of learning, as Saraswati.
She borrowed from employers and a money lender 
The best education she could, she gave her daughter
Hoping her lot would be a lot better than of the mother.
Lakshmi stoically smiles despite myriad problems
She is a brave woman who braves many storms.

May she taste the fruits of the seeds sown in her life,
An arid field filled with thorns of struggle and strife.

Elizabeth Kurian ‘Mona’ is a multilingual poet who writes /translates in English, Hindi, Urdu, Telugu and Malayalam. She has fifteen books including translations to her credit. Her poems/articles/interviews regularly appear in various print and web media. Mona is associated with a number of literary groups and is the Secretary of the multilingual poetry group Sahitya Sangam International, Hyderabad. She retired as Manager, Reserve Bank of India, Mumbai and lives in Hyderabad. She can be reached at  : monaliza.hyd@gmail.com. 

Best of Women Poetry -2020 :: Setu, March 2020

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