01 January 1970

Short Poem: Or So Everyone Said

Weekend Reads

Short Poem: Or So Everyone Said

Dreams often led, To trouble...Or so everyone said

It wasn’t a sacrifice, mere rite of passage...
It wasn’t a sacrifice, mere rite of passage... Getty Images

She folded her dreams, placed them carefully in a metal trunk 
Locked it for good measure
And pushed it under the bed
Her new family was her new treasure

It would lie there, gathering dust
Groaning under the bed
She’d made for herself
Covered with a sheet of disappointment, despair, dread

No one had to tell her
It was a noble path to tread
Came naturally to her, felt only right
A blip in the virtuous journey ahead

She had seen Ma do it and Nani before her
With the same poise and grace
Draping themselves with duty
Responsibilities she would embrace

She wouldn’t think about them, let alone miss them
Dreams often led
To trouble
Or so everyone said

It wasn’t a sacrifice, mere rite of passage
The story she was fed 
Happened to us all
Or so everyone said
But think about them she did
With a longing she came to recognise
Miss them she did
With a passion and intensity that did surprise

She struggled to ban the treacherous thoughts
Vainly attempted to steer her mind away
It was starting to feel a lot like sacrifice
The thought held sway

So, she brought her dreams out
As she aired them, her heart bled 
You’ll get over it 
Or so everyone said

She ran loving fingers  
Over the rich, rippling spread
Embellished with the yes-it’s-me motifs
Sighing over the silken threads 

And then one day it happened
She could no longer relegate them under the bed
Shedding the layers, all the roles
She draped herself instead

In six yards of shame
Leaving the old self for the dead
Lost her mind, she had
Or so everyone said

Gossamer dreams now covered in cobwebs

(Vibha Batra is an award-winning and bestselling author, graphic novelist, advertising consultant, poet, lyricist, translator, playwright, script writer, travel writer, columnist, speaker and creative writing mentor. She has published 20 books. Her travelogues have appeared in The Hindu, Conde Nast Traveller, Deccan Chronicle, and The Week. Several of her short plays have been staged during the Short and Sweet Theatre Festival South India, and her play Cold Feet won Best Script in 2017. She has published over 100 short stories so far. She conducts creative writing workshops independently for children and adults and at the British Council Chennai. She was one of 25 authors from 5 continents to headline Sharjah Children's Literature Festival 2022.)