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She by Lakshmi Kannan

Who is she? What is it in this she? What does she want here? Can anyone say it? The persona representing this she is no one else but Kannan herself who is thinking of home and feminine life. What is the periphery of a woman? Can one’s outward appearance tell of the inward feelings? Only the dressing-style is not enough however sophisticated it may look to be. What do we keep hiding in is important rather than the outer expression. The life of a man we know it; the life of a woman we know it not as it is our tendency to restrict her freedom and liberty and to cut down the feathers so that she may not flutter it far. Our patriarchal society is very treacherous and mischievous. We have made taboos for her which but bind her. Gender bias is still on our minds, and we have not ridden of it so far.

But can a caged bird feel happy? Can a slave? The fetters none likes it. Everybody wants to be free. But can a woman feel it free? Is she free to express, free to roam and move? How troublesome is it to live under bondage?

‘She wears well-tailored clothes’, starts the story and ‘values judgements with a flair’, tells of her mental set-up and presence of mind. A house for to take a rest, a physical frame to recline or lay on cozily, this is it all, but instead of it she appears to be disturbed or care-worn, anxiety keeps clawing the self for a flutter. Novelty keeps it calling. Imagination wants to take wings. What this motor activity for, movement? What it in her modernity and where will it lead to ultimately? Luxuries and comforts are good. An urban woman in an urban world and home, this is her cityscape. Professional career is lucrative. This is the corridor of her life and from her balcony she keeps viewing the spectacle. But what we see is the exterior of the things; the interior of which is quite unknown. When the plasters fall off as flakes from the wall, one can mark the intrinsic brickwork applied so is the personality, the interior self of a woman persona without a spokesperson of her own. Can one live forever on one’s support?

However smart and beautiful, up-to-date, and modern she may appear to be and the house giving her a space, she is but a lonely being, a divided self, a split personality, not free and can she be ever?

Her house, belongings, modern appliances, may be up to date, the rooms with the ACs, the refrigerator placed at a corner, well-furnished with the washing machine and the dining table with a bouquet of flowers kept on it. The floor looks like a mirror as for keeping it up tidy. The jewelries, assets and valuables, what the self to do with these?

She wears well-tailored clothes
and value judgments with flair
filling them out with her form
that houses a being
tight and spring-tensed.
She is house-proud
(as she needs to be)
her dining room simply gleams
with clean health
cheerful carnations on the table,
bursting with colours, tempered with
the white of lady`s lace.
Sitting and living rooms
breathing an air of uncluttered ease
the floors swept clean
as her empty heart.
Through the open doors
she stares across at the
orderly back garden
tracing her lengthening shadow
on long afternoons of pealing stillness.
Outside, the young mango tree has
blossomed biennially, like a rare poet.
A rash of new, glossy leaves,
shimming copper, and on the branches,
sweet-throated birds evoked
the pain of memories.
She looked at the eagle
soaring above in circles
shrill note tearing through the cool blue.
She cried silently with the kite
as it glanced down, eyes
frankly red and angry.


More by :  Bijay Kant Dubey

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