Mindlessly staring at me, holding her only child.
Her kohl was smudged, she swallowed her pain.
She walked freely around the house but her soul was chained.
Past noon, she held her baby close to her chest.
In those empty moments, she often wept.
I sang happy rhymes, painted all that was grey.
I told her many times, people do go far far away.
I was a lost canary but she was more adrift than me.
Pregnant and lost her husband when she was only twenty three.
It saddened me, her sorrows didn't ebb.
Her husband did die but she was dead.
I abandoned her, she never came back from his pyre.
Burning herself each day in that fire.
But like a phoenix, she rose nevertheless.
Churning sorrows into strength that she never expressed.
She built an ebony closet, stacked all her pain in there.
Armored with self-belief with no sorrow to share.
No knight in shining armor, she stood by her own side.
Her head held high, with hard work and pride.
I don't sing for her now, she penned her own song.
How to rise from nothing and be strong.
*Two years back, I wrote about my friend who lost her husband in a car accident on her birthday. She was pregnant and she delivered a baby girl. It fills me with pride and happiness that she, inspite of her problems, worked hard and is now working as a Probationary Officer in a reputed bank.
Salute to all those who never give up in the toughest of times. They are truly inspiring!