Country Weddding


Plantain leaves lie scattered on a corner.
Black ants are having a feast from the remains,
Make a beeline out into the coconut groove.
With a grain of morsel each on their head.
Stray dogs are growling, snarling, their teeth out,
Threatening each other, readying for a fight,
Crows are calling their friends, for a share of meal.
A crowd is flocking in, pecking at the remains of a marriage lunch.

The guests are leaving one by one,
Some stands, in a circle gossiping.
Chewing Beatle leaves, with lime and betel nuts.
Often, spitting thick red saliva on flower plants.
Some men are enjoying a rare cigarette smoke,
Holding the cigarette in a peculiar way under fist.
Looks on as if they are doing a wonder!
The village head is encircled by a few admirers.
Showing off the nuptial poem he wrote for the occasion.

Women in silk Saris giggle, and murmur shyly.
Back of their blouses smeared with the hair oil,
Makes a dark shade, mingling with perspiration.
Their lips in red hue leaving a drop or two of-
-Beatle juice on their chins.

Children having the whale of a time.
Playing hide and seek, with their pals.
Slowly the drummers leaving, their drums,
Covered, in khaki clothes hung on the shoulders,
Stops, in front for a pinch of tobacco.
The caterers depart carrying empty pots.

Suddenly, the crowd huddles together at the porch.
The floral decorated car arrives,
The driver moves out, taking pride on decorating the car,
Combs his hair looking at the rear mirror.
The groom cracking jokes with his friends walk in.
The bride arrives, in her beautiful braided sari,
Wearing, all her Jewellery, her hands covered in bangles.
The old men and women assembled in order.
Blesses, the newly wedded, as they touch their feet,
While, placing some money on a Beatle leaf.
Suddenly, the girl sobs as she embraces her mother and father.
Its time to say good bye, as the auspicious time approaches.
All lifts their hands up gesturing good wishes.

The great grandma sits on the floor, legs stretched.
Slowly starts to grind the Beatle leaves with ingredients
The slow and rhythmic sound from her small mortar
Mixes in her thoughts, and takes her back to her time.
She was thirteen when she got married!
She often opens a small box, and inspects a flower,
she had kept from her wedding bouquet.
It had lost its freshness too, dry as her thoughts!Colourless as her skin.

Submitted by Satheesan Rangorath.

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