Mainstream, VOL LV No 14 New Delhi March 25, 2017
Saturday 25 March 2017
She is in her early playing teens,
uprooted from the scenic setting
of her village home nestling against
a huge sheltering mango grove,
then transplanted on the top floor
of a big building of iron, concrete
towering into the grey city sky.
She has a job to do meticulously:
ostensibly to look after a child.
But there are also endless errands
she virtually slogs to carry out
from morning till late at night,
moving like a household robot
at the beck and call of everyone.
But all mistakes in domestic chores,
objects found missing or misplaced
are linked to her imaginary traits:
negligent, careless and a shirker.
If there is a lone voice caring for her,
it is drowned by frowning outburst
of tyranny from others in the family.
Confused and sad, she feels tears
welling up in her wide, innocent eyes,
wipes them off with a muffled cry.
When everybody retires for the night,
she returns to her own little space
gradually engulfed by an alien world
stonewalling her girlhood queries.