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by Lavanya D

I sit here in the shade,
Watching my papa ply his trade.
A fabulous bangle maker is he,
Creating bangles out of mud, steel and wood, you see.
Day after day, women flock to his shop
To buy more and more, till you’d think they’d pop!
But still they keep buying, they do
White ones and red ones, green and blue.
Young ones, short ones, old ones and children
All flock to the fair just to buy his bangles, even the gentlemen!
I couldn’t wait to wear your bangles, I said
You laughed and hugged me and promised,
“Bright ones, bold ones, pink and purple too,
I’ll make you the white and red ones, like brides do.
Special bangles for you, I’d make
So you will wear them, long after they fade.”
And so I waited, and I waited to wear
The bangles my papa would make, including my bridal pair.
The man I marry must truly be special
To live up to my papa’s fabulous bangle.
And one fine day I found just the man
Who made me feel like I was like no other one.
And so I married him, I did
Though he was not from our caste, you said.
After all, no regular, ordinary man could ever,
Match up to your beautiful bangles, no, never!
And so I married him, low birth be damned
Then ran to your house, papa, as fast as I can
“Now make me my bridal bangles, papa, for I am one,
With a husband I love, make me bangles for all time!”
Oh why did I not notice that glint in your eye,
As you made my bangles, both red and white?
Too wrapped up in my new love was I
Too eager to wear your bangles was I
That I failed to see that my papa was gone!
And in his place, was a mad man!
Happily sped I to my marital home
With my bridal bangles ringing a merry tone.
How was I to know, I confess
That you’d love me so little, so less!
That you’d kill my love, my man
Even before I became a woman?
My bangles hadn’t even dried, you know,
Before you made me a widow?
No more bangles for me, no more
Red and white, one or four.
No bangles for me, not with my husband dead
For widows have no use for bangles, they said.
Why did you do that, papa, why
Kill my love, my dreams, my life.
Because you loved your caste more
I became a widow, forever more.
No bangles, no more bangles for me
White and red, none of those, no siree!


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