Woman incomplete

Malathi did not board the morning bus to work today.

I looked at the woman seated beside me in Malathi’s usual place.

Clad in a saree, fresh flowers in her hair, ready to tackle the long hours of work in dust and heat.

She must be around her mid forties.

Does she have a family to provide for?

Else why has she joined the wagon of the working class at the wee hours?

Does she have a daughter ready to be married, or already so?


I tried to think what Malathi might be doing now.

Did she go to the burning ghat?

Did she fired the pyre?

What does the scripture asks of an widowed mother when her married daughter dies?


Malathi’s only child, 

Wife to a school teacher,

Hung herself yesterday,

While carrying her first child in her womb.


Malathi’s daughter was told by a holy man,

Who came to beg for a handful of rice,

She will give birth to a daughter.


Malathi’s daughter, 

Took her unborn along,

To the dark cold morgue,

Before burning down to ashes.

For in this life,

She could not live up to the mark,

She could not give the family an heir,

She could become a mother, but an woman incomplete.


social stigmataboo

◄ Sun Snatcher

A mother’s gift ►


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Tapashree Roy

Sun 14th Oct 2018 02:58

Thanks Anya and Sal!

Big Sal, I echo your thoughts of being aloud about taboos and stigmas, using whatever “peaceful” medium. All we can do to help prevent such unfortunate happening is spread awareness, though I am afraid that might not be enough.

Thanks again,

Big Sal

Sat 13th Oct 2018 16:46

Taboos need to be written about more often to help in removing the surrounding stigma associated with them. Whether returning soldier, struggling mother, or homeless beggar - the problems are often not known by a huge portion of the population as the problems are often glamorized or downplayed.

Great piece filled with excellent emotion, and a familiar story of suicide I'm sure for too many. ?

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Tapashree Roy

Sat 13th Oct 2018 15:18

This is based on a real life event that happened a few months back in India.
A country as rich and complex in its past and future, as it is with present day wide social structure.

FYI sex determination of an unborn child is a punishable offence in India.

Feel free to share your feedback on the subject and the peotry.

Thanks ?

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