Payal & Anu

Beautiful World © Poornima Prabakaran

I gently undid the stapler

Tore open the plain plastic cover

Held her in my tiny little hands

She was little Payal

I quickly managed a glimpse sideways

Sister tore open her gift

Anu came into her hands

Two dolls that looked just the same

But for the blue frock of Payal

And the pink one of Anu

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder

Payal looked beautiful than Anu

Payal & Anu had sparkling White Shoes

I caught a quick glimpse of my school shoes

Dirty as they were and much worn out

Payal moved her hands up and down

Twisted her legs back and forth

Her hair was silky soft

Closed her eyes every time I lay her down

Her eyes beamed again when I held her erect

Her forehands could never fold

Her fingers could never point

Her legs could never bend

Her eyes were round as an Alien’s

She was still the first wonder of my World

I ran out to the open space

Caught my sister with a bucket and mug

Anu was gracefully taking bath

How could Anu do this to Payal

As if Anu and Payal were born in the same house

They only came from the same shop!

Payal was quickly brought outside

I washed her as fast as I could

Yet couldn’t finish her off

Before sister was done with Anu

What if I was last

Payal had a hair bath

Anu only had a plain bath

Proud of my achievement

I dried Payal’s hairs with my own Towel

I went to dry the towel

It had strands of brown hair

I ran back to Payal

Her hair wasn’t silky anymore

Her hair stood as erect as she was in Amazon

Her Pony tail could never be made again!

I caught a glimpse of Anu

She was flaunting her silky soft hair

A world that seemed so unfair!

I suddenly grew up, Payal never did

One day I din’t realise Mum threw her in the bin

Of-course she threw Anu too!

They were both a gift from Aunt so dear

I cried to myself

Not because Payal din’t look beautiful anymore

Not because hers shoes were already dirty

Not because her right eye stopped winking

Not because her blue frock’s welcrow failed

But because…

She was a memory of my growing up

She was a memory of my aunt

She was a memory of envying my sister

I cried only to later realise

Memories aren’t in the Material toys

But in the Little Joys

As Life unfolds!


Dear Brother-in-law

In the darkness of the night

In front of the idols of  God

She whispered into my ears

For mom was asleep

That You were coming into the family

That was the 10th of Jan 2001 presumably

I went back to sleep

Cursing how much I hate this silly newcomer

3 years flew like a facade

And you were officially a family member

That was a nightmare come true!

Endless bouts of cry

How could one shove aside 15 years of friendship for a stranger of 6 months?

I hated myself for I din’t offer enough to be loved

As if someone took off all that I had saved for my life

As if someone denied me a drop of water forever

As if someone strangled my neck

I thought that someone was you

Was that on your wedding day as you offered mom & me to move in too?

Was that during the triple rides on the bike?

Was that on the 3 shared bed?

Was that on the frequent Restaurant dinners?

Was that for the conferred right to call you by your name?

Was that for those pricey slippers you bought me?

Was that for all those weekends you brought her home?

Was that for all those words you never said?

Was that for all the ‘get well’ messages you sent everytime I fell sick?

Was that because of her undiminshing love?

When was it that I exactly realised?

That you were an undreamt dream come true!

How could she belong to me

Nobody belongs to anybody!

Yet there is one thing I still hate you for

For you accept and understand her, the way she is

More than I could ever do to her

As Life keeps you busy like a bee

Miss you brother-in-law!!!

Miss all the time I get to spend with you!!!

But I wouldn’t hold on to you like I did to her

For I know, Love is the water on the palm

Hold it, then it goes away

Leave it, then it stays!!!