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Saree Blouse

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English Poetry

The time was of the decade
Of the 1950s and the 1960s
There was an Indian family of four
Living in a place in Sudan
Father, Mother, Brother and Sister

And on this day
After a tired day at work
The brother was at home
When he found his sister
Messing about with his cupboard

Don’t disturb my clothes
And don’t touch the watches
And the perfume
Scolded the brother
To the sister who got terrified

The sister although innocent then
Was wicked by nature
Revenge was in her mind then
I’ll show you, brother
You’ll pay for it with your life
You know what the time is right now
These were the villainous thoughts of the sister.

The family then shifted to Mumbai in India
In the year 1969 or thereabouts
With difficulty the sister got married
To a man by the same name as her brother
After the father passed away in Sudan
When he was there in Sudan again for a visit
The sister was initially in Chicago, USA with her man
And they later settled in Ahmedabad

In 1973, the brother was married
And I was born in 1977
Narrating this tale to you today in 2011
For often during my growing years
The sister Sarla of my father,
Visited our house and practiced her witch-craft
She would often caress the legs of my father
When he lied down on the bed
And speak some unknown chants in a murmur.

And inside and outside my house
Often strange things were found
During their visit to Mumbai
It can be described
By the Gujarati word ‘Naikhi’ (to throw)
Sarla cast her spell on me too
Making me react to my father
And caused my failure to listen to him

Our family fell a victim to her witch-craft
Continuously throughout the years we were harassed
Till my father passed away in the ICU of a hospital
In the year of 2008 that adds to 10
On Monday the 10th of November i.e. 10/11/2008 or 10/11/10
Between 11:00 am and 11:30 am

When Sarla was standing at his left foot
Wearing a Sari in Bengali fashion and a blouse
Beside the father, I was seated
And my younger brother on the opposite side
And my mother was standing there too

Sarla was standing there
Silently questioning my father
You know what I am wearing?
You know what day it is?
You know what time it is?
And the answer lay in her saree-blouse
That she was wearing
For at the shoulders of a woman
Wearing a saree
And so too at her neck-line
It resembles a tick-mark or
Shows the position of the clock
In the attire as the hour hand at 11:00
And the minute hand at 2:00
Also the sign of the Company Nike


  1. Vishvnand says:

    As a narration the post is indeed praiseworthy
    However as far as what it is trying to convey for the modern thinking man is more like an intense figment of imagination. Firstly I think one should not attribute any happening to such presumptions but if anyone has even any doubt in the mind about likelihood of such things happening he should take recourse to immediate positive action to confront the person he doubts of creating such bad acts and get any doubts off his mind….Harboring such doubts while carrying on in life is very harmful…
    Of course this is only my personal feeling/observation/opinion.

    • Apurva Bharat Gaglani says:

      @Vishvnand, When the environment around is negative, sometimes you are not in a position to confront.
      As far as the modern thinking man is concerned, I know many means of how people practice sophisticated witch-craft, and they are all modern who will declare that witch-craft does exist.
      And often in witch-craft you realize things after the event has occured. Till then, at many times you don’t even realize the small things.

      • Vishvnand says:

        @Apurva Bharat Gaglani
        If this is so what is the remedy or do we just believe this is happening and remain helpless.
        I think firmly believing that there is no anything as witch craft and having firm faith in God The Almighty to be the only all powerful is the best bet.

  2. medhini says:

    Very good narrative style,Apurva.
    I too agree with Vishvji’s remarks.

  3. Hi
    I am amused by the need to portray Sarla as a witch . No justification is given in the convoluted and difficult to comprehend narrative as to why and how the narrator has come to such a conclusion .There is an attempt to besmirch a reputation where the the other person does not have recourse to defend. This is just not done .It is in the fitness of things that matters of a family stay within the walls of the home..

    • Apurva Bharat Gaglani says:

      @SARALA KURUP JAGAN, There is no need to justify wrong doings, jealousy is a national trait and honest people are victimized first, i.e. straight trees are cut first.
      There is no need to defend evil or give an opportunity for the other to do the same. It is in the fitness of things that people believe that witch-craft exist and do not ignore it, so such matters in the family can be made public.

  4. Hi
    No one is jealous of you, in fact , they may pity you after reading this .
    Poetry is about soul-force and not about petty one-upmanship . You could have written about witchcraft without reference to name or relations .Poetry can deal with petty stuff to find the rationale behind them .
    When you write be true to yourself and your theme.Your method lowers the dignity of poetry .

    • Apurva Bharat Gaglani says:

      @SARALA KURUP JAGAN, When you write be true to yourself and your theme.Your method lowers the dignity of poetry .

      I have written nothing but the truth and I have been true to myself with this poem.

      And there are many more like her amongst my relatives.

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