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Self-Helping Women

Young ebony–skinned women
In cheap synthetic sarees with
Kajal overflowing the edges of pools of eyes
And fragrant jasmines in their hair
Came in droves to receive loan sanctions
The cacophony of their shrill voices
Drowned the dull monotone of the speeches
The animator, a midget of a woman,
Herded her flock of giggling women
To a corner of the stage
Woman after woman
Came with folded hands
To receive loan sanctions
The leaders gave fiery speeches.

A banker–poet sitting on the dais
Cleared his emotion-laden throat
Nothing came out of his poetic throat ,however.
The proud women, queens of Sheeba,
Spoke eloquently, confidently
Of economic empowerment
And marginalization of the money-lender
Self-help was a magic word
Did the husbands batter them?
Sometimes. But they refuse to be be touched
For a fiver by liquor-guzzler husbands.

The poet-banker called it
A successful micro-credit experiment
The illiterate women found him
Vague and amusing ,nevertheless.
They were flushed with
New-found money-power
The village money-lender became a pariah
Surely a revolution is in the making.


More By  :  A. J. Rao

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