My Mamma Has a Mask

I got the below picture for a poetry challenge and I found my ideas completely dried out.

My first thoughts were on masked emotions by mothers’ hidden from their children and also maybe mother’s devotion. Then I thought of a narrative from the child’s point of view .

I wanted the child to say, what did she do under the mask to make him smile.

Finally this is what I could come up with. My secret wish is for all adults who read this to smile thinking about those moments you had with your mother. And those which you had as a mother.

I have an affinity for free verse as I cannot maintain rhyme and meter, and still say what I want to say.

My Mamma has a Mask

I heard noise in the kitchen
Mamma and dad fighting.
Something fell and crashed
I think it is my cereal bowl.
I was still brushing teeth
When she came and took me
Saying, “Let’s go for a walk baby,
Mamma wants some fresh air.”
And out to the garden we came.

My Momma took a mask
And put it on her face
I couldn’t see her eyes
Or her lovely face.
“What are you wearing mamma?’
I asked her, touching her mask
“Pstbsftsgagaagaagoogoo” ..says she.
“What you said, mamma’?
I didn’t understand a word !!!”
She made more funny sounds,
Making me laugh again
Then she took off her mask.

Smiling and giggling she said
“That wasn’t me, baby
But my inner Buddha speaking”
“But what did he say?, Mamma
Was it something funny”?
She said, ” Buddha told me
To come out here with you
And to say Pstbsftsgagagaaagooogooo..
So that my anger can fade away.”
“Then I too shall do the same, Mamma
When you don’t let me watch TV”
She laughed again
“You learn real fast baby
Now let’s go home.
Our breakfast is waiting”

Saturday Six Word Story Prompt (6WSP) #57- September 26, 2020

Prompt for Week #57 (Sep 26, 2020 – Oct 2, 2020)


This was an easy one. Thank you Shweta Suresh

1. I need maintenance, not high though.

2. No need for explanations, my dear.

3. Plants need affection not just water.

4. This room needs a woman’s touch.

5. I need you like never before.

6. Can’t cater to your selfish needs.

7.  Your greed has fueled your need.

8.  Go. I need to be alone.

9. I don’t need your silent treatment.

10. Do my tears need 99% feelings ?

11. Storms in my head need music

12. Need more ideas for this story.

13. I don’t need anything from you

14. When I need courage, cowardice appears.

15. All I need are food and books.

Jeremiads of a Pmsaurus

Hey Uterus,

This is not fair

The way you hitch yourself to my emotions.

I am not being ungrateful, you know.

But you become the portal to my emotional centre.

 We should feel powerful, you and me

Being the vessel that contains “Shakti”,

Instead you send me to hormone hell.

I feel depressed for no reason.

And cry an ocean over nothing.

I feel that my hair is extra greasy

And I will those pimples to break through

I can’t find things which should be there

Then I find things which shouldn’t have been there.

When you start shedding tears of blood,

For a child that was not given

You gnaw my innards

And pin needles through my brain,

With stomach cramps and migraine.

My moods brachiate and vacillate

Until your tears are cried out and drained.

Then we pirouette back to sanity lane

Till we do the same dance again.

Image credit

Just Mercy- A story of Justice and Redemption- By Bryan Stevenson

I just finished reading the latest edition of Just Mercy. Even though the underlying thought which Stevenson wishes to disseminate in his book is the potential of hope and mercy in redeeming racial injustice, I am left with shock, indignation, resentment and disgust by the very reminder that such cruel miscarriage of justice still exists.

I couldn’t help wondering about the root cause of racism and read many articles written about the same. Every time I read a narrative, I feel broken and I cannot imagine the extend of damage that has been left in the lives of the ones who were characters in this real life stories.

Even though India has its own version of injustice based on the caste and religious divides, I couldn’t find any compelling memoirs about the same by any Indian authors.

I fail to understand how one human being can consider another, inferior, just because he or she looks, talks and thinks differently?

How can one presume guilt without evidence and condemn without trial, just because one believes that all people of that skin colour are violent and is a threat to the community?

Stevenson’s book revolves around the biased conviction of Walter McMillian which happened in 1987. Stevenson’s legal firm first took up the cause of Walter McMillian, sentenced to death for the murder of a white woman. The state’s case had many inconsistencies and manufactured stories from witnesses who were threatened and colluded to do so.

The state disregarded accounts from many eyewitnesses who insisted they were with Walter at a church fundraiser. The legal system was determined to find someone to convict for this murder and decided Walter would be the ideal candidate because of his affair with a white woman.

The stories of poor black children sentenced to adult prisons where they were subjected to sexual assault and serving life sentences not always due to first degree murder, was appalling.

These children were of 13-14 year old and were juveniles who slipped into the path of crime because of their lack of maturity and judgement and their destitution.

Stevenson says, ” We do not live in a free society. We are all burdened by a history of racial inequality that’s created a kind of smog in the air.”

The facts remains that since prosecutors and police have legal immunity, they can do considerable harm to innocent citizens when they are on the hunt for justice.

Even though he speaks about hope, I couldn’t help thinking that the Justice System hasn’t changed in the least. That is what the decision of Jefferson County grand jury to not indict the officers of Law in the death of Breonna Taylor, by claiming that her boyfriend fired the first shot, even though the ballistics report could not determine if Taylor’s boyfriend shot an officer, makes me feel.

This is what millions of people like me all over the world recognized with horror, when we watched the video of George Floyd struggling to breathe while handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a police officer.

Racial injustice is not a curse entirely of The United States of America. But it is of every country that has a fraction of its population who see the colour of skin, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and the position in the social ladder, when they look at a human being.

Racism is part of every nation in a myriad of colors and hues, and in forms which are not so easy to detect. Slavery and lynching never really ended; instead, they just evolved. Only the causes, assumptions and justifications for those actions have changed.

Sounds of Silence

Does it? Does silence have all the answers?

When you seek answers for all those questions needing closure, delving deep within your own silence, you may hear your soul whispering them to you .

But there is a silence which can be deafening. Silence from a person who traps up all the answers you want, in a black hole.

You can interpret that silence in many ways , seeking answers in words that are not spoken.

May be those answers are the ones you do not want to hear.

Hence they are banished by the silence to a place where all the other unspoken word are incarcerated.

Or that silence can be a malevolent miasma that is meant to inflict your spirit.

Or a quake that creates a chasm between bodies and souls.

Or just that there is nothing left to say .

That is when you hear the sounds of silence.

Scars Are Mine To Flaunt

We were getting ready for a party

And I came out wearing my sleeveless red gown

My arms were bare

Except for the bracelet nuzzling my left wrist .

Then the fight started.

He said, “Cover up your arms .

Your burn marks are in view.

You are never careful while cooking

No other women I know have scars like yours”

I said, ” Let me tell you once again

How I came by my scars.

While you slept late into the morning

I was making our meals.

Breakfast, box lunch for office

The role I was assigned to do.

I didn’t burn myself .

Happened in the morning rush.

These aren’t my scars

But my medals of honour,

For every dish I mastered .

Which you called delicious and incredible.

So it is okay .

It is mine to flaunt.

As each came with a learning”.

Saturday Six Word Story Prompt

I came tok now about the Saturday Six Word Story Prompt hosted by Shweta Suresh from the post of a fellow blogger,Happy Panda

I decided to give it a try as well. I am not sure if my submission is past the deadline though.

I had fun playing with words even though I am a fan of 10 words story.

Prompt for Week #56 (Sep 19, 2020 – Sep 25, 2020) – WATER

Here are my try outs.

1.Spirit exited with the last waterdrops.
 2. Scorching summer turned water to desert
  2. My waters flows to you, Ocean
 3. Sun bound the water in clouds
 4. Abducted water came home as rain
 5.Water shrank and shuddered into ice
 6.Water sent down her unique snowflakes
 7 I am pebble, polished by water
 8. Grief drowned her like flood water

What I am taught to feel Sorry About

image courtesy

I didn’t hear the alarm again, overslept, third time this week

Missed making pancakes and served just cornflakes and milk

Lunch box and midday snack had fruits and bread with jam .

“Mama, again we have to eat this …” quipped my son.

My partner was in the bath, getting ready for work.

I wanted to say, “Eat if you like, or give it to someone who needs it”

But as I rushed to change for work, I felt sorry,

For not preparing their favourite banana pancakes.

Children were ready to be dropped to school, waiting for me.

And I told my partner, “I have a presentation, need to reach office early,

So honey, please drop off kids at school today.”

He swooped down for a kiss as I struggled with my pumps

Wished me luck and herded them out.

I felt guilty, for prioritizing work and not my family.

Things went great at work, late working nights paying the dividend.

“Superb”, congratulated my Boss.

“But, your kids are still young,

Will you be able to balance the expectations that come with the promotion?”

“Yes, I can” said I, ignoring the guilt shoehorning its way into my conscience.

Yelling at me “Home work”, PTA meetings, doctor’s appointments, hobby classes

Play dates, Friday movie nights, Saturday baking, Sunday outings

What will you comprise?

“My partner will help and things don’t need to change “

Assured my unwavering self, as I took up the offer.

I will unlearn what I have been taught to feel sorry about

And relearn and reteach the people around me.

My life is not meant to serve others just because I am a woman

Men and women must learn the same things and do the same work.

I will not feel sorry for not keeping up your expectations.

No apologies if I didn’t conform to your gender rules.

It’s me and my place in the world.

So you need to unlearn along with me

To not guilt trip me with your looks , sighs and unspoken words.

When I unlearn what I am taught to be sorry about.

Revenge She Mused

Everything was absolutely in place and customary when she got up early Monday morning. She switched off the alarm, carefully removed her husband’s arms entwined around her and headed off to kitchen .
She liked everything normal and habitual that followed a preset pattern. Having to do things differently caused her irritation and she loved her methodical life.

Even going out and having fun followed a time table which they did on Saturdays. It was always a movie, random shopping and lunch.Once in a while she would do things unplanned and chaotic.
On such occasions she would be restless tills she falls back on track. Even though she was aware of this quirk in her nature, she didn’t find anything strange in her behaviour and her husband never complained.

As usual, she was in her comfort zone, making their Monday special banana pancakes and the next agenda in her timetable was to keep the kitchen waste outside. She did it promptly and went to the balcony to collect another waste disposal bag .

Then and there the trouble erupted.Her husband had not placed his shoes on the shoe rack where it was meant to be.It was on the floor with the soiled socks strewn around .She hated having to touch another person’s soiled socks even if that another person was her husband. Now seeing the balcony in a disarray, she felt irritation welling within her like a volcano waiting to erupt.

She disliked reminding him to do the same thing multiple times. So she would bottle up this soreness within her for days, observing it intensifying every day, due to some things or the other out of place, like a wet towel on the bed, unfolded blanket, dirty foot prints on a freshly mopped floor, dirty linen which missed the free shot into the laundry bag.

All these amplified her feeling of being taken for granted.

Then it would erupt and she would let her anger flow, careful that the lava doesn’t cause any harm to anything or anyone nearby.

She would be clamming up her brain with thoughts of leaving her husband and staying alone and not having anyone to bother about or anyone to disrupt her picture perfect life.

She would pour out her anger in all those conversations that happened in her head, words which would wring his heart, which she would otherwise dare not utter. Then she would feel remorse for even having those thoughts. This would calm her down. She would drown her husband in her love for the next few days till it happened all over again.

Today, having had to face this soiled socks and strewn shoes early morning itself, she felt the storm brewing within.

She first thought of flinging them out of the balcony, then thought of hiding them .
As she kept concocting her devious plans and thoughts, she felt her not so good alter ego gaining control. She felt its evil presence enveloping her, but for once she let herself succumb to its power.

Her husband got up at 7 a.m, came to the kitchen to give and receive the good morning hug and sat with the news paper and his coffee .

Her plan was to spill little water on the marble floor near the bathroom .She expected him to slip and fall, thus taking her sweet revenge for spoiling her day. He finished his coffee and headed for his bath.

She was in the kitchen listening for the thud and the voice of him calling out for her.

She heard the dull sound of something hitting the floor and then silence.

Seconds passed and she failed to hear the groaning as expected. Her wicked state of mind gave way to alarm and she flew to their bedroom.

There he lay, motionless, blood pooling on the white floor around his head. She knelt down beside him and shook him, calling his name again and again.

This wasn’t what she expected. She did not imagine or want him to hit his head on the sharp corner of the bed, or for him to lay still like the way he was lying now.
“ No, No..Oh God, No…” She screamed…

“Stop it …wake up…” It was her husband shaking her. She opened her eyes, realizing, what she had gone through, was just a dream.
“ Were you having a nightmare? It’s 5:30 am .Aren’t to going to work today.?” he asked.
She heaved a sigh of relief and said,”No, I am taking a day off. Let’s spend a day together.What say ? ..”
“ You are a very wicked woman ,” he said smiling.