Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Old Landlord

The Old Landlord

My mother is wearing a blue sari,
Her lips twisted in a constant smile
As the burden of her life will be
Wedded away in only a little while.

She holds the garlands that will be
Thrust around my neck lovingly.
Ephemeral flowers mark my destiny-
I, the mother of the landlord’s posterity!

My father sits on a wooden chair –
Strange, without his usual candour!
His mind rarely dwells on love and care
And seems drunk though he is sober.

Some say my groom is elder than
My father, some say already seventy.
I blankly wonder if I ever can
Be the mother of the landlord’s posterity!

My brother eyes a maiden with lucidity.
His slovenly group of roguish friends,
Partake in some clandestine heresy
And make plans towards amourous ends.

He hopes to pay debts incurred in gambling
He is proud of my husband’s prosperity.
I’ll shoo him away like a little fledgling
I, the mother of the landlord’s posterity!

As I am led towards the sacred fire,
From the corner of my eye, I can sadly see
The only man I ever dared to desire –
Who knows my lips and breasts better than me

He looks sad and there is little he can change.
So he stands in a corner with helpless dignity.
He will only dream of a gruesome revenge
As I become the mother of the landlord’s posterity.

I sneak a glance at my prosperous mate.
He is old but seems sufficiently virile.
He looks at me, he is calm and sedate.
His look is washed and pure, almost puerile.

I hate my mother’s sighs of relief,
I hate my father’s drunken mind,
I hate my brother, the gambling thief,
I hate the man to whom I once resigned.

I hate them all but I have faith in God
I know one thing with utmost surety
That I will love the old landlord
And become the proud mother of his posterity.


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