Invoking the 'Devi' in us By Amrita Lahiri Bhattacharya
In the dark alleys of the infamous street,
A litany of embellishments adorned her delicate feet,
Selling her body was the only option,
While selling her dreams rusted, dust settled on the corner of her eyes.
The diamond, stars and moonlight beams rested on her feet,
But there were men of different strata,
Visiting the threshold of her squalid room,
Satiating their carnal desires.
Under her sepulchral eyes,
Lies the flickering hopes to be owned by the trespassers.
Smearing the red lipstick on the starched shirts,
Leaves an indelible mark on the clothes but not in their hearts.
The fragrant flowers tucked on her loosely made bun,
Are plucked one by one,
Like the scaffolding of stars,
In the dimly lit rooms.
The jingling of the bangles,
The clinking of the anklets,
Screaming to be owned in a conjugal relationship,
But they were only interested in clandestine meetings.
The velvety night holds the moon in its palm,
Enveloped in the satin covers, she implores,
“Instead of money,
Why don’t you take me home today?”
The bare pedicured feet
To embrace the ‘Alta’,
That resides in your pious homes.
Each night, the perpetrators rise to
Occasional hint of filthy actions,
Addressing me with stale names,
Each night there’s a ‘She’ cocking a snook at patriarchy.
Shenanigans were omnipresent
In the hushed affairs,
Next day, she wears the hope,
Borrowed from the morning sun.
Tucking the resilience in her coiffured hair,
Screaming under the shower,
Where her muffled moans, wails will be
Drowned in the rivulets of linear water streams.
The dull evenings when the burning ball of fire,
Scatters in crimson hues,
She emulates and,
Deck herself in resplendent finery.
The Kajal embossed face, the pinkish ruse and the foundation,
Rebels and echoes her sentiment,
The strings of golden anklets resounding in the hallways,
She is a bride everyday but sans novelty.
A fake one with fake smiles,
Secret affairs sizzle only to melt,
Under the first rays of the sun,
Henna-dyed hands claim its orange hues.
All it took is one moment,
A small step for her and a giant leap for womankind,
She glanced at the mirror,
At her statuesque figure.
With a bulging belly,
“I was helpless but,
Not the one growing inside me.”
She knew the journey would be an uphill task,
But she whispered to herself, “Only you can do it”,
She shed her inhibitions,
Crushed the inexorable fear by her wrinkled feet.
She broke free,
Chose the unconventional path,
Turned away from the societal norms and prejudices,
Banished those feelings and mocking comments.
She gathered herself to be resurrected as ‘HER’,
She invoked the ‘Devi’ inside her,
The abhorration is replaced,
By salutations to her indomitable spirit.
Heavy makeup is replaced by a heavy plank of confidence,
Shackles circumventing her feet are replaced by invisible streaks of faith,
She’s the real ‘Devi’ that resides in each one of us,
Waiting to re-establish her long-lost existence.
Amrita is a working woman as well as a mother to a toddler...
She has a penchant for writing since she was a teenager...
She squeezes in time between work and her kid...
She pens her thoughts into words and loves to read...
With a little encouragement and support..
She wants to soar high in the privileged company of cohort...
The above poem by her has won her The Editor's Choice Award for the #poetryprompt #evokingthegoddess organized by Chrysanthemum Chronicles on their Facebook Group Page.