Prannath Mago|Oil on canvas| National Gallery of Modern Art
A girl of twenty-two – pretty and petite
Merely was she aware how lust and love had forbidden intersections
Yet she wakes up next to a strange man-
Now a woman
Four years older, two years wiser he holds her against his bare chest
She looks him in the eye- a little afraid, a little shy
That is when he caress her hair-
There! There she witnesses the beast glide towards a sight that was forever concealed
She peeps at his hand too scared to hold and graze her fingers at the scars of long lost wounds
That! That is when he surrenders himself beneath her gentleness
She steps back shy and hesitant,
Then! Then he leaps towards her and lets her melt amidst his bewildered kindness.
Strangers tied in bonds of matrimony
Together they learn to unravel the lovers they before had never met.
A few months after with love still afresh
She returns from work to home
Leaving behind the sorrows of daylight
At dusk she waits for her eternal sunshine.
Little did she know torments and tragedies awaited on that doomed day’s sunrise.
And HE DID NOT RETURN-
She couldn’t believe what her eyes saw-
Her lover now shrunk to a silent corpse
The words she heard could never be unheard-
The whispers- they say he’ll never stop by again.
His scent was forever lost
She now had no one who’s touch would melt her soul.
Yet to know the depths of the red in her hair
Yet to adjust the clinky bangles that wouldn’t just go with her outfit
With the awkward pretentious “serene” black and gold across her neck
With a baggage of what haven’t been shared yet
The newly wed widow stood baffled and lost.
Her friends would come; his friends would go
Both their families would say everything will be alright
But all these hopes- based on false pretense
While colour leaves her clothes, her skin stains to pale
Just blotches of red mark her teary eyes and mourning heart
Education drowns in traditions-
They cut her hair- shingled
Calmly, she accepts- not tired to rebel
Just a last gesture for the love she lost
She blames herself quietly for the bad luck she brought
But the people around make it loud and clear.
Though it’s not her fault
She wish to be punished.
She does not want to die
But all of a sudden her ambitions alone are not enough for her to carry on.
Her’s is not a tale of losing feminism
It’s a grieving void that would never be filled
Which is dug deeper with his memories lingering around
The newly wed widow mistakenly looks for him in the not so endearing crowd.