Waiting for the rain – Kasturi Sha, Kerala

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I knew it wouldn’t, yet waited I
For, hoping doesn’t cost so high
As buying my little girl a pair of boots
– A pair of rain boots.
I owe her reparations:
Me being a miserly mother,
Refusing her dancing dolls, hair bands white n’ pink
in the village fair; at the vendor’s cart
Now I wait: to pay her due, for it to rain.

As I ignored the rain’s chatter
I ignored her prattle too…..
Undervaluing her most precious dreams,
whims and fancies.
She came again and again with her scribbled caricatures
Of rosy princesses, fairylands and Pegasus
Nonetheless I ignored her o’er and o’er
As I ignored the squeamish monsoon
For its reckless lashing against the windows….

When she asked me how it rained- I said,
I didn’t know
Then she asked me how much I loved her-I said,
I don’t……know!
Then I saw her drooped head, her frail constitution
Rambling away.
It rained that entire monsoon.
Then the dark clouds shrank, drooped
And went away.

My baby wasn’t bothersome, for
I never bothered with her,
Rather ignored her….
A well-crafted art of ignorance
I saw her loitering around at bedtime
Maybe for stories, lullabies or goodnight kisses
Well, I know not that, for I never asked.
I never asked the rain too-what it wanted
Or for what it rained…..I ignored.

May be she knew, I wouldn’t repay
Yet, waited she, hoped she
For hoping doesn’t cost much.
It rained the whole night,-
–the night she cried for rain boots
Waiting n’ hoping that
I might acknowledge its advances.
Frankly, I didn’t
I ignored artfully, awfully!

Now tis sweltering hot
Beads of perspiration rolls down my back, my neck
Dust along the gravel path
Goes berserk every time a warm wind blows by
My mind alights seeing those waggish kids passing the street
Bound for school or home
Leaving a trail of din of sweet laughter behind
Setting fire to flints of memories within me
That burn, crackle and reminisce yet again.

I know, it wouldn’t rain this summer
I know, she wouldn’t turn up this life
I know, I owe them dues
I know, I’m too late for that
Succumbing to realities; realisation comes quick
Ignorance has failed me
Or….. Had I failed in mastering ignorance???
Still I await my little girl’s unheard giggles, mischievous prattle
As I wait and hope for torrential bouts to drench my woes with remorse.
I knew it wouldn’t, yet I wait….
Yet I pause to wait,
To hope!

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