Santosh Bakaya (Women and Spring)

Santosh Bakaya
Spring in Kashmir

It is spring
It is spring 
in Kashmir. 
Sing the excited girls,  ecstatic at the sight of  colourful flowers, a heady fragrance fills the air.

Tulips bloom brilliantly in the Tulip garden. Girls pirouette and prance
enhancing the Spring  beauty . 
One girl puts a hat on her head, breaking into a jig.
Birds gliding in the expansive blue of the Spring sky, 
serenely surfing upon the spring clouds spy  an old deodar tree, under which 
sits a beggar woman.
She is poring over a jumble of eccentric oddities, mumbling incomprehensible  words.

 Around her,  feisty,  flamboyant flowers  flaunt their colours.
Four ochre coloured mongrels jealously guard her and her goods.
One of them cranks a low whine of misery.

The ancient woman under the ancient tree, so proud of her ancient goods, 
calls out to the people with a fiery gusto.
But woe! Her goods are bad.

With flowers in their hair, the women stride on,  a spring in their gait.
Who wants ancient discarded things? One of the girls does a maladroit dance, spring in her movements, a smile on lips and hands on hips.

Her hair lashes and thrashes around her, 
grazing her cheeks,  nuzzling her ears.

She smiles through her hair.
She smiles through her hair. 
It is spring 
it is spring 
in Kashmir.

The tantalising breeze in the trees 
makes the caged lovebirds yearn
to be set free. 
Free . Free. Free.

They look at the almond blossoms wistfully, craving to touch the blue beyond.
Bonds are tightened amidst the yellow mustard fields, as women sigh and croon romantic songs, intense longing in their eyes.

A cluster of yamberzel ( daffodils) beckons the caged birds 
and they break into a string of frenzied chirps.

Free us . Free us.
Free Us 

The woman in a flamboyant pheran, 
lifts the latch, opening the small window of the cage.
Out they fly - there is freedom in the air . There is love in the air.

It is spring 
it is spring 
in Kashmir.


  1. A beautiful poem. Yes, A woman also needs freedom. Life is very beautiful and transient, why shouldn't she also enjoy?


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