'Take this,' they told me'
when they were sifting through my dead,
We were twenty grandchildren
all waiting for her stuff to be distributed.
'You are the eldest', they told me.
'Take her full gold brocade sari.'
'Its worth more than a lakh.'
'It is an heir loom passed from generation to generation.'
'You can give it to your daughters.'
Did I want anything from my grandmother?
Did I like her?
I feared her like my mother did.
Did I want to look like her?
The hooked nose, the thin cold lips and thirty straggly chin hair!
I took the sari dutifully, drove back home.
Stopped on the way and gave the sari to the beggar woman.
I looked up and thought I could see my dead mother smiling.