The Matriarch -Sheela Toshili Nath, Kerala


Once a brave matriarch

Now a widow with a failing heart

Faltering steps, feeble voice

Empty eyes wait for the final act.

Her three daughters in distant lands

Possess husbands and stately homes

They hover around her

It’s her 80th birthday!

Laughter and chatter

Speeches and songs

Food and gifts piled high

What a shabby rented hall, older than the birthday girl!

Like vultures eyeing the prey

Circle the three round their mother

Narrowed eyes and vacant smiles

Bejewelled hands with claws trained to tear

Death, that knows no bonds

Ah! So near and yet so far……..!


  1. So true! Sometimes its just a matter of formality to lend some minutes of the ‘precious’ time to senior citizens and think that we are done with our part, or even worse, to think that we are representing humanity. Hands filled with golden bangles should look into the vacant eyes instead for proper introspection of where actually we stand in terms of humanity.


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