Monday, September 19, 2005

all codes lead to roam

Prathibha Nandakumar

Woman and Blood
by Prathibha Nandakumar

translated by the author

Tiny fingers cut and bleed
despite the warning not to touch the knife.
Blood finally stops with a bandage
the little sobs continue even after the hug and kiss.

All of a sudden growing up
brings new problems
Question papers are far easier
The next is still unknown.

Blood drops
on the playground
cycle seat
degree certificate
carpet in the hall
some bench some corner of a park
cinema theatre
on the first love letter
wedding mandap
and on . . . the bed.

it’s a great effort to stop the blood
on it stands the honour of the family
dynasties have tumbled
battles fought, hearts broken
even deaths are justified.

When finally it stops
my God, it’s like the churning of the ten oceans
and the butter emerges
bringing smiles to all the faces

White blood from the swollen breasts
flows endless. Innumerable legends,
myths and songs of praise . . .
It’s okay if the young pigeon
turns into a vulture later, it’s okay.

Then one day,
it really stops.
Tears, hopelessness,
even talks of hormone treatments.

But it’s time for getting ready to go.

Someone once said
‘Blood relation means . . .’
I stopped him midway
‘I know, I am a woman.’


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8:09 AM  

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