My father's mother, I see for years
Sitting on the rope-cot,
Legs, knee joints swelled in rheumatism,
Eyes still glowing in pride,
Of her war veteran husband
Hanging on wall with sandal strip flowers, and,
her retired head clerk son.
She yawns so long-
Then we, the grand and great grand children
Who know counting from one to twenty,
Can easily win a contest to count her teeth,
Before she speaks aloud names of a hoard of gods.
Though sitting unmoved she knows,
Which khet* has less harvest this year
The women laborer carrying less wheat on head
My mother left unspared for slack in supervision.
In the soft night after early dinner,
When the pagal, bhoot and nocturnal fears,**
Freely come knocking our doors and windows,
We can well visualize her wavering scissors
From under the quilt, just listening
The names of gods so familiar,
Quite resembling to chowkidar's
*Wet paddy fields. In rural India the khets too have names.
** Unnatural things said to make children afraid of and to keep quite.