|Saturday, April 20, 2002||
There is a call for her in the dining room,
As she waits silently with dread.
She comes out of the kitchen holding a tray,
Wearing an elegant sari and lowering her head.
She cannot say anything except for the lines which were taught,
A lie, "Imade everything that’s placed before you,
None of this was bought".
She sits down carefully and silently,
As she waits for the response from the guests,
Whether they are going to say a "no" or a "yes".
Her parents observe her carefully, as they say,
"She’s a beauty, but we need some reassurance today".
Her parents go into a room,
And they bring out a handful of jewels and cash,
As the hand it over they say, "With our daughter, please do not be rash !"
The wedding day arrives,
There’s an air of gloom.
Everyone is praising the beautiful bride,
And the handsome groom
She’s in the kitchen of her new home,
And her mother-in-law approaches,
"Tell your parents to give the rest of the dowry by tomorrow," she thunders
"Or else you shall have to bear the consequences!"
They aren’t too rich,
But they’re desperate to see their daughter’s smile.
And even though they’re worried, they say,
"Don’t worry honey ! for you, we can walk miles!"
The rest of their demands fulfilled a week or two.
And in this time,
She was beaten with a stick, belt or a shoe.
She couldn’t do anything to stop them,
As she felt helpless and scared.
Her husband died of a sudden attack,
Now she’s alone, away from her parents.
She’s got no one to talk to.
All she can do is hang her head and cry.
There was no way,
She could end her life,
She still had dreams to dream,
And wishes to wish.
Today she is a successful woman,
Who ne’er lets go of her pride.
Always pushed everything and everyone,
Which came in her way aside.
— Sheeba Singh
Chandhoke Class X,