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A heart-wrenching poem by Maya.

There’s fire in the chulha

Daal simmers thereupon

She watches it intent

Lost somewhere…

Screams all of a sudden as if pulled out of some trance.

“Fire! Fire!’ she rushes out of doors.

A few vessels fall onto the floor with a sound echoing for long.

The headlight of a car in the street

Dazzles her teary eyes,

She gets nervy, so perturbed that she knows not where to run next!

She hasn’t slept a wink for nights altogether,

nor is ever likely to,

Rides upon nightmares whole nights

Crackers, celebrations, deafening sounds, explosions, screams, wails, moans…is all she can see with eyes open or closed…


Some good soul holds her hand kindly

drops her back to the door.                                                                          

She smiles…a wry smile…

May be it’s her dear departed son

Who she saw burning to ashes near the temple…

… lost her senses forever.


He couldn’t even bear a minor burn when alive…

Would go mad with pain, rummaging through things to find Burnol.

Can celebrations play havoc?

Note: Chulha is a traditional earthen oven and daal is lentil or pulses

©Maya Khandelwal

Pix from Net.

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