Incertitude, is it?

Shruti Singh

Image credits – the poet herself

Shruti Singh
1. One gossip girl

Why did she crib in her bath?
when the tap stopped gushing out warm water
knowing well some didn’t even get it
to douse their thirst

On a full stomach,
why did she sulk over the absence of dessert?
whilst aware of those deprived of a meal a day

She now was a tad apologetic
each time she did them

No one would tell her what to do
So, she thought by herself
She hunted her archives for the ugliest photo of hers
to put out in the world
For her,
this was atonement
while she itched to go back
to when she was oblivious

She opened then the page last read
of her monthly vanity magazine

2. Indifference

Swayamvara . . . Swamvar . . . 
woman in control . . . 
. . . man of her choice . . . 
Sati . . . Sita . . . Kunti . . . Draupadi . . .

Loopholes . . . 
She read further.

. . . only saw them face to face on the D-day . . . 
. . . mandatory to garland the winner . . . rejection is prohibited.
. . . suitors . . . any age . . . married even . . . with existing children.
. . . choice influenced . . . by family’s preference.
. . . cannot marry the one she loves . . .
Often, . . . a strategic alliance.

“I can’t find one decent theme for my essay,”
bellowed her frustration
“What is the topic?” enquired mother from inside 
the ajar bathroom door.

She stalled a bit,
“Women empowerment.”
“Oh,” the mother exhaled,
“You can find many articles if you give some time.”

The daughter felt it best,
to offer her quest a rest
And to go about her usual
of talking, laughing
and daydreaming
The women of the house continued their indifference.

3. Lungs

he had started joining his building kids 
whenever was their time to play football
or even Kho – Kho.

he had started climbing his three-floor stairs,
as residents wondered 
at his new-found interest in fitness
as if, trying to prove something.

he had switched to
buying groceries from the market,
resting his delivery apps.

he had started doing house chores
without anyone telling him to,
raising eyes at home.

Rushing for privacy,
he coughed and coughed
and then lots more
until he was almost sure he was breathless.

He couldn’t tell anyone
the smoke he had inhaled 
for seven-tenths of his years,
had found a place cosy
in his body
and refused to come out
till this life of his prevailed

No one could know
what he had
Stage, last.
Cancer, lung.

4. Ways of protraction

The time dilated
when there was bliss.
The jaw protruded
as a response to her awkwardness.
The shoulders initiated an abduction of ninety degrees 
to complete that hug,
as she imagined the man 
she had come to like.

The longing prolonged . . . 
The distance between 
farther than ever.

She was being called incessantly
to get up
But she, 
she wanted to protract
some more
herself with her mind
on her bed of comfort
Where she could think 
of all the different types of protracting

The time dilated . . . 
the longing prolonged.

5. Waiting periods

They think I'm wasting 
when I am waiting
But I'm also thinking then
And thinking fast
And good
On bus stops, in bank lines, on ticket counters

People will not trouble you
when you are waiting
Because they believe you are already suffering
by waiting in line  

But I am enjoying
for I am thinking
Because there is just noise from strangers
Because I can just keep standing or sitting 
while waiting,
and think

Bio: Shruti Singh (Bangalore, India) 
+91 9920562456

Hailing from the East, having lived in the West, and currently employed in the South of India, Shruti Singh is a dentist, a pharmaceutical marketeer, and a writer. 
Her writing mirrors the language of her intrigue in people, their behaviour, and their psyche. In the five poems of ‘Incertitude, is it?’ one can find a sense of truth reflected through her sentient observations and perceptions.

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