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February 19, 2024

Let Them Be

By Amrita Valan

Let Them Be

Five daughters-in-law, one in the centre
A mischievous gleam in her doe eyes,
Is my favourite.
She was the second brother's bride,
Married to my father's twin
Who had arrived
Five minutes later into the world.
And was forever the second son.
He took it in his gentle stride.
She was the spirited one, vivacious paramour
The only daughter-in-law to work outside.
I think spouses live vicariously
The narratives lie in each other.

The joint family home, the government job.
She juggled restrictions and liberties
With an impish grin.
"Boudi!" (Elder brother's bride) she
Pledged her baby's care to
Her demure dutiful sister-in-law.
My mother, the eldest brother's wife
Hovers by the Regent's right elbow,
Dadu, my learned late grandfather.
She was his nurse and right-hand lass,
Till the end.
Sweet, unassuming demure, she lowers
Her eyes gracefully, smiling a tired smile.
I wish she had raised those distant eyes,
Their faraway dreaming innocence.
Now that she too left to become
One of them.
My ancestral lineage of love.

Article © Amrita Valan. All rights reserved.
Published on 2022-12-05
Image(s) are public domain.
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