When she got married,
her mother spent sleepless nights.
Oblivion engulfed her mornings,
tea went cold each time,
cups were returned to the kitchen counter,
unbelievably from a tea-addict like her.

Her favorite dishes, sweet and sour,
left untouched for hours,
begged to be devoured.
Morsels cut down to halves,
chewed painfully longer,
without appetite or hunger.

Sarees lacked her taste
and were replaced
by dull fabrics and shades.
Her agony was shut behind doors
of the welcoming smiles.
The inevitable was to happen
How could she part
from her sweetheart?

Was she happy?
Was she sad?
Her jovial demeanor
took shades of grey and black.
A daughter getting married,
a mother’s ultimate dream.
But a tangerine joy it was
that left her grieving inside.

Her dried, swollen eyes,
she hadn’t allowed them rest
Her lips raw and numb,
she hadn’t uttered a word.
For more than a fortnight,
she sobbed on the phone.
Fragmented, in pieces
She muttered this,

My heart can’t take the pain.
I’ll never ask for a daughter again.”

~~~~~

Asha Seth