The Bangle-Seller’s Daughter
by Ananya Sarkar
She put on the bangles, one by one
Bright coloured glass ringlets
That shone in a lovely coruscating flash of gold,
green, orange and pink
Winking seductively in the sun.
The bangles gifted to her by her father
Were precious to the little girl
For though she was the bangle-seller’s daughter----
Bangles she had none.
Two plaits adorned the little head
And swayed to and fro
And the patchwork skirt that she wore
Fluttered in the wind.
She carried the utensils--- pots and pans and dishes
Clinking and clanging
To the green pond’s edge
Where the birds chirruped in the hedges.
Picking up a fistful of ash
She set to cleaning the steel containers,
But today her heart was convulsed in delight
At the thought of the bangles which encircled her wrists.
Humming a sweet melodious tune
The little one did her chore
Keeping at bay all the strings
That could tie her to some woe.
She scrubbed and rubbed
With all her zeal
The bangles clashed, the bangles broke
Into a myriad rainbow stars that glittered in the mud.
She stared enrapt
As though awed by a spectre
At the tiny pieces that were ornaments once
Still not deprived of their iridescent hue.
A pearly tear glistening in her eye
She realizes the inexorable truth
That though she was the bangle-seller’s daughter
She was not meant for the bangles,
Nor were bangles meant for her.