Sunday, March 15, 2015

Last Breath

Like dust, a soft layer of white
Spatters the ground
Its frosty mist frigid and fresh
Mocking bird mocks its muted moan
With copycat songs, chirpy or a drone
Blue Jay interjects with its harsh conjecture
Of wintery splendor concluded 

Like gold, a soft stream of yellow 
Splashes the ground
Its fiery veneer tender and sheen
Mocking bird mocks its glistening luster
With copycat songs, ballad or a whistle
Blue Jay interjects with its severe inference
Of springtide prelude commencing 

Haze of mist takes to air
Earth’s last wintery breath sizzles to sky
A sigh reveals yellow green grass
Buds shoot up, push their way for resurrection
Transformation now looming
Soon all colors will be blooming

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Child Bride 1916 - Conclusion

Out on the platform Jeevani found herself standing next to the tall man who was the groom.  Her head ached from all the crying and the commotion around her.  She did not even try to look at his face.  Just as her mother had drilled into her, Jeevani kept her head lowered without making a sound.  Back at the house another ceremony awaited the new bride.  It was past midnight by the time each visitor had seen the bride’s face and paid the bride viewing price as was custom.
Finally, the time came for Janki, no longer Jeevani, to meet her husband.  She was left alone in a room decorated with flowers where she sat in the middle of the bed.  Her mother had tried to explain about this moment, her voice echoing in Janki’s ears, sit quietly with your head covered keeping the chunni hanging down low enough to cover your face.  Keep your head bent and fix your gaze on to your feet.  Act reticent and humble.
Janki suddenly felt a cool breeze, even though it was stifling hot in the room under her heavy adornments.  Ram Lal entered the room without a sound, closing the door behind him.  Janki’s heart skipped a beat as she heard him walk toward her.  The bed creaked under his weight when he sat down on the edge.  Janki could not stop shaking.  Ram Lal put a hand on her shoulder to steady her and articulated his first words.  His voice was kind. “There’s nothing to be afraid of.  I am your husband now and I will take care of you.”
Janki did not move but relaxed a little.  Ram Lal moved up closer and gently lifted the veil to see her face.
“Beautiful.  Just like my sister said you were.”
Janki kept her gaze focused down as he stroked her hand lightly with his forefinger.  She slowly raised her eyelids and for the first time looked at her husband.  His geometric features with a square face, a large triangular nose, and a flat chin gave him a stern look.  The thick, dark mustache extending out to his cheeks added nobility while the large, round eyes below his bushy eyebrows could be scary to a little girl.  He was a grown man, in his twenties, at least ten years older her.  Janki was shocked at first, but then remembering his kind voice and gentle manner, she relaxed.  She took comfort in the warmth of his eyes and the easy smile to match the gentle voice.
When the initial shock of discovering her husband’s presumed age wore off, Janki smiled in her timid way.  Ram Lal smiled back and continued to stare at her.  He was admiring this fair-skinned, shy girl who had just become his wife.  He admired her perfect round face with pronounced rotund cheeks and timid, genuine smile.  White, even teeth shone between thick, shapely lips for a fleeting moment until his hand moved from her slight chin to her arm and further down.  He noted the ampleness of the face did not reflect the slenderness of her undeveloped figure.  He admired the way her big brown eyes looked at him with the curiosity of a child and quickly looking down, as if remembering her manners.  She was so young and innocent, and so beautiful.
He helped her shed the heavy, golden load from her person, carefully wrapping the jewelry in a cloth.  Still wearing their silken garb, he held her.  His touch was gentle but curious and the sensation she felt was unlike any other.  He combed his fingers through the length of her hair, tickling the back of her neck, sparking a giggle out of her.  At this he left her and turned out the light.  In the dark, he gently pulled her down on the bed next to him.  With his strong arms encircled around her, she felt safe.  Her heavy eyelids could stay open no longer and Janki fell into a peaceful slumber.
 The END