Saturday, January 28, 2023

Her Dead Alive Octopus


I caught upon an uncanny creature,
Amidst a fish vending street.
Like the ghostly alien hands,
Its spooky limbs shined in the summerish streak.

“Snap up some dried Octopus”
The vending woman wobbled,
“With bit of cooking, the leathery chewy Octopus
Will get ready to be gobbled.”

But I being from urbanity
Imagination fed with fascinating myths,
Where giant alien octopuses
Gulp down the ships.

I heard a legend
Those doddery fishermen often remark,
Its bulging eyes
Lurks boats from the dark,
And swells up the sea
With the grandiose sweep of its sucker arms.

She scoffed at the sea monster I narrated
“Wrapped in fear”, she says,
“A devilfish was created”.

“Far contrary to the maddest fiction and ferocity,
Its arms are gentle and open to curiosity.”
“Sometimes smooth, sometimes spiky,
It mimics shapes and colour in every variety.”

“Born with unsettling bizarre intelligence”
She apprised,
“It shoots out ink
Blindfolding its enemies’ eyes.”

“Like the slippery noodle slurped in the mouth,
Its slimy body slips into the tiniest hideout.”
“Deceiving enemy like shape-shifter,
It regrows out of its den,
Like a genie flare up,
Once out of its magic lamp.”

Suddenly her admiration
Stirred an agitation,
For hunting down the octopuses
Was her occupation.

Her striking narratives,
Resurrected them alive.
But glancing it dead,
A sense of pity flew through my eyes.

“But this is our food”,
She vigorously strived.
“Hawking it earns some penny
For my family to survive.”

“For ages, women are one with nature”,
Her eyes shimmered wise.
“And nature rewarded us,
Not for greed, my dear
But for lives to thrive.”

Cover Image by Raneesh P.R, Visual Editor, Indian Ruminations

Her Dead Alive Octopus
Eva Badola
Eva Badola
Eva Badola is a London-based storyteller, exploratory writer and earth-lover. She is widely published for writings on nature, fisherwomen and tribal in various magazines. Her book ‘Stories of Success: Narratives from a Sacred Land’ covers stories from the Himalayas


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