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T h e   U l t i m a t u m

If marriage was the ultimate
Why did you not prepare me, mother.
Why did you fill my head
With words like
You taught me everything
that was wrong
For married life.

I bow my covered head
With a sari
And am covered more
With a feeling of dread
Of how much more
I will have to bow.
I will run away
Or take my life
Because this is not
The path you chartered for me.
No, this is not what
I was made to believe.

It is wrong now to tell me
To change direction.
I lay the blame at your door
For hiding the truth.
You showed me blue skies
And shaped my wings
And broke them then
When you placed my hands
In a steel cage.


[First published in “Kritya”, 2005]

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