Mithi (Colours of Love and Barriers)

Academia makes me a fiction. My poems write me with ink and politics, with social dilemmas and throughout my inconsistencies. I nurture them in my boiling womb and unlearn to be an obedient woman. I become queer in a poem and a poem becomes queer in me. Instagram handle: paint_in_pandemonium Mail id:

Leisures of a Middle Class Tea Maker

I fry the segmented potato
In overpriced oil. 
A drop of sweat escapes me
And lands in the masterpiece, 
As in most recipes of summer;
A sequel of heat and wrath, 
Food and a made-up hunger, 
Like an atheist’s hunger
On Eid and Durga Puja, 
More like ma's stained “anchal”
Dipped in an orchestra of homemaking. 
She lets her daughter play with a doll house
Devoid of paedophile uncles. 
It is often in these unmoving afternoons that
Children wander away into cooler, tighter rooms, 
And the mother snores in the arms of a
Trauma bond with outdated fans and faces of May. 
That was all my father could afford, 
But ma needed lesser than a father, 
A sort of “less” that I would learn to understand. 

The father would be in a metro, 
Speeding home through the overcrowded arena, 
Minutely not partaking in a game of grip and hide.
Oh! The vulnerable dick of a school boy, 
And the silk like waist of a virgin. 
The travel is limited, 
Options only “too many”! 
But I was only frying the segmented potato
In a grim tropical outline, 
Standing parallel to my partner, 
Showering in an extension of past. 
One speck of oil rebels on my skin, 
And he goes looking for a damp first-aid. 
My mother cheers, “Ah! What a man!”

I almost believe her glorification of decaying epiphanies, 
And measure my stipulated portions of peace. 
At least he does not rape me or kick me
When I am pregnant, 
Besides, marital rape is not really it, 
Or is it? 

Ma says, “Your father was never an eve-teaser, 
Such sorted men of the family.”
I say, “I was neither.”
She says, “Women don’t. Women can’t!”
I say, “Actually they can be criminals, 
They are capable of urges of perversion.”
She un-hears me, un-kisses my myths
And peels the skin of dear rotten tangerine! 

I say, “But I am cheating on him.”
My ma forgets to comb my hair, 
Forgets to grab me by the gut. 
I further say, “And he is cheating on me. 
She is a fine woman 
and comes over on certain weekends.”
Ma asks, “Why would you do that to him?”
I say, “We were bored ma, 
Bored and baked in the politics of Neo-liberalism
Where he has a woke up 
to counter his bulletins of privatisation. 
We had walked past his overtime in the cubicle, 
And random mistresses to suit his digital labour. 
Such labour oozed out of his puss filled rash of progress, 
Forming a weird genital scar, 
And I was nowhere to be seen!”

One fatal summer,
When I was a hard-earned nine, 
I went up the stairs to scandal’s door
and peaked through. 
My mother was stripping Lila di, 
The young wife of the neighbour. 
I saw two adult women fu**ing, 
Making love, sweating in scorching parameters. 
Unfortunately, my father rang a doorbell, 
And they hurried away
With no scratches on their mystic skin,
And impenetrable orgasms pending. 

When my father oblivious to ma's arthritis
Kept demanding for refined tea, 
Ma grunted like a pig in pungent mud. 
Just a brisk commodity! 
On such evenings,
Lila di tiptoed from one house to another,
The houses of husbands, and males, and males. 
She swiftly covered the marks from yester night
That had landed on the geometry of her skin
Like the many gifts from him, 
And this one was curved with an imported belt, 
Only to erect an architecture of violence. 
Lila di then kissed her lover’s forehead, 
Massaged her aching feet, 
Oiled her greying hair. 
She called to her like an efficient lover, 
Peculiarly manly in her attitude,
Desperately trying to prove to the skeleton of a house
That she was enough for my mother. 

I wish I could turn to ma, 
And the remnants of Lila di,
Look them dead in the eyes, 
And say, “Indeed!”

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