She quietly closed the bedroom door
And tiptoed into the parlour
Stopping to draw the curtains
To welcome the kindly morning sun.
The day begins with me, she said
To herself, knowing that the first task
In the waking house was hers.
When her eyelids opened after rest
She began by believing in herself.
It’s wonderful to be a woman,
The chosen one to transport
The finest goods of life.
After pondering awhile she sensed
A tinge of regret that
The callous world denied her worth.
She who brought the procreator
Into the world…
How can she be
Just a bemoaned drudge?
She looked around for those truly
Feminine objects of lifestyle–
The embroidery half finished,
The apron tossed in a hurry,
The ornamental fish gliding like her,
Free to move but fearing hurt.
The bookshelves made her see herself–
The muffled voice that gave
The roaring beast nightmares,
The very voice of the angels of humanity
Ever ready with the healing touch
That can resuscitate failing manhood.
Who is stopping me from being glad?
Only me, was the rhetorical answer.
The joy was in realizing
Than in bland articulation.
The saga of Eve begins herewith
As she passes the culinary portals,
Where she works miracles
That nobody is emulous to take on.
The kettle is on and the milk boils
To the clatter of spoons and metallic ware
While the pressure cooker hisses off
And the breakfast simmers on.
As contentment reigns at the table
She busies herself with wiping the table
And scrubbing the dishes
Till the place is back to old form.
Though she may grumble for it,
The housemaid having declared leave
With the Union’s newly gained rights,
She does the mule’s work nevertheless.
The man of the house dashes off
With ill-enclosed papers jutting out
Of the briefcase hurriedly closed
As boots fall behind the mocking clock.
The students of the house have gone too,
Leaving the house to daylight and to her.
She barges into the vacant bedroom
With its shabby and crumpled sheets
And stares with finicky horror
As she surveys the disarray.
The sheets are quickly folded
And pressed back to neatness again,
A tilted flower vase is steadied up
And brought to standing straightness.
She then looks around with a woman’s pride
For these small things are her special joy.
She picks out a cotton saree
From the variegated wardrobe
Wondering if russet would do
On a glorious summer day.
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
The English man centuries dead
She knows she will be admired
In summer russet and morning gold
As she walks into her parliament,
Admiring eyes following her gait.
Her parliament was her second home
With other birds of her feather,
And once in her sedan
She drove off with elan.
They were in their respective seats
And greeted her with familiar cheers.
They loved her for her look,
Her gentle smile and heartfelt tears.
Their portfolios were many–
Maidenhood, Housewivery and Midwivery,
Cookery, Beautification and Writing,
And Corporate Autocracy and Bureaucracy,
All those women-made phenomena
Oft deemed crazy.
She rose to speak at the zero hour
To the rattling applause of her comrades.
We have been the doers all the while
And have been nothing but reviled.
To suffer more is incorrect to Nature
Who made us heiresses to entire space.
Her words had the power
To make even crocodiles weep,
If only crocodiles had the habit
Of self-pointing thinking.
So saying she ensconced herself
In her high backed moving chair.
After a bite and a drink
She soon takes leave
And clutches the steering
With her assertive ringed hand.
On getting home
She bolts to the kitchen door by instinct
Dropping things from her handbag
As she remembers her tasks.
At night the TV programmes are no good.
How would she like to hear
Her sisters are raped
Or abducted from malls in broad daylight
For a ransom that hardly buys enough
For an election candidate
To buy voters a drink?
Her solitude is her best resort
Where she listens to her own counsel,
Where she will let in no man or beast
To rupture her selfmade, delicate bliss.