Friday, February 22, 2013


She washes the bile
off her wary womb,
last time the copper vessel
heard a child's clamour
was two years ago,
when her husband
gave her a toy
that could breathe and bawl
with equal ease.

This one does the same
only this time
her red sea
wont part to save her
from an abusive ally
nor from lawless in-laws
fourteen and a mother of two
as if she was bred
to bear and rear.

Barely having woken from parables
that celebrated her doll
and "hopscotch" days,
she is a child
who aged early
to bear the burden of a hijab
her parents gave her
in the name of customary chivalry.

First published in Muse India Jan-Feb issue here.


Afshan said...

This pic and poem makes me get lost in thoughts !!
Cant argue on hijab part as it leads to many controversies but early marriages at 14 :( Sad Sad and sad

Akanksha Dureja said...

Very well written but it is an irony that beautiful things are sad, many a times. Loved the poem but hate the patriarchy around which the words are spun.

rinzu rajan said...

Thanks Afshan for the visit! This is a part of the Child Bride series of poems I was writing, hijab being a practice in that part of the world! Thanks for the visit! Will watch your space more often! :)

Thanks Akanksha, I agree, some beautiful things are born out of pain! Seems terrible when I think of these girls who never had a say in their lives and will never have one! Sigh!

dfsk said...

Heart-wrenching poetry. You have spun such beautiful words...the child in her arms from the photo you have shared really looks like a toy, a doll that the girl was not very long ago playing with in her childhood innocence as you have mentioned. My heart goes out to her.

rinzu rajan said...

Thanks Dfsk! I am doing a series of poems on Child brides, this is one of them! Every tale is a heart wrenching one!

Ananya Kiran said...

Beautifully written !

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