An Epoch of Lost Identity
a poem by Shrutika Sharma
My mother adored draping a cotton saree, as meticulously as she could to avoid any crease and wrinkle. Back in those days, she would pluck flowers to offer to her brass god-idols, concurrently preaching my younger self to never harm any sentient life form. She had singled herself out as a self-contradictory metaphor as she exulted in the same. However, now those days seem as far away as ever.
Did her palm creases foretell future? Certainly not, owing to the fact that I recollect them teaching me geography. They are shriveled now, time-worn.
She is now, teetering between being identified as an ailing agony of ages and as a blistering rage put to sleep, coercively. She realizes how her exuberant womanhood was carefully stacked away in that creaky ligneous almirah, similarly the way she would gingerly caress and stack away her cotton sarees. Discerning the modus operandi, it being quite concordant.
She now fathoms how the men in her life have bargained with her integrity and autonomy. Her clunking joints resonate of the aeon of her enervated identity. She can now listen to her own pulverized words in the cremated remains of others. Maybe, this is how they got muffled. Steadily. Wantonly.
Within the cramped confines of hollow traditions, patriarchy, gas-lighting and ingrained misogyny.
Her alluvion of anger has always been subdued, ridiculed and mocked because when men get angry, their masculinity is ratified but when women are angry, their femininity is unwarranted. Her credibility is void. Her gaze that has always catered to her oppressors, now, dares to look up. She has now perceived the existence of a rooted chip on her shoulder. She believes that she is sitting on the cusp of realization of her trauma that had been quelled in the name of her fidelity.
Mother, I too, belong to your neck of the woods. Yet, if you stay immobile and rigid, I will be the one setting your cotton sarees ablaze. I will be the one throwing off your sententious shackles. Your lacerations and contusions will now be empowered, for the world will slow down its pace to listen to them speak up, unobstructed.
About the author:
Shrutika Sharma is an aspiring 18 year old Indian poet and spoken word artist. Being a student of English Literature whilst minoring in Psychology has given her a dynamic perspective of the world. Coalescing the old school thoughts with the incessant current changes has aided her is analysing multitudes of emotions as she infuses them into her poems.
To learn more, you may follow her on Instagram @_shrutikasharma.
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