The Housewife

In honor of the Indian holiday, Bihar Diwas, we present this work by one of India’s greatest modern poets.

Balamani Amma
Indian
1909 – 2004

 

When I hasten homewards after the morning bath in the river, my path resounds with the song of them that soar in the sky;
There flutter before me the green flags unfurled by those who people the nether regions;
And around me dance the butterflies, swinging their multicoloured robes.
This world, richly adorned, invites me to a glimpse of its magnificent carnival.
But mine eyes are drunk with the beauty of my home, laburnum-garlanded by the all-beholding sun.

When I hurry to my beloved, having quickly gone through the housework, the sun shines more and more in the unclouded heart of sky;
The hidden emotions of darkest depths emerge as burning sighs;
And gold-mohar shrubs, their faces marked with the auspicious saffron beaming with joy, stand by in silence.
The world transforms into a mirror held before me, but I am charmed into gazing at my own feelings reflected in the eyes of my beloved.

When I rush to my children playing in the courtyard, the sky becomes suffused by their milky smile changed into moonlight.
The ripples in the river echo their pattering footsteps;
And all the neighbouring homes are lit up by their untainted grace.
The world turns into a fairyland, wafted out of their enchanting selves.
And my soul is merged in their flower-like forms.

 

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