BELIED BELIEFS

Her single slim stature sifted softly

Toward the village water well

The rocks rumbled her bare feet

And she simply glided through the road

Blasé about the crude cuts on her souls

She was told to fetch water

From the well in the village five miles away

And she would have to do so.

 

It wasn’t that there was no well in her village,

In fact there was a river too.

Yet her younger brother had stubbornly held

His opinion about how sacred he thought

The water from the well of Tarapur would be.

So she had to follow his orders,

Without there being any rational reason

For what she was told to do.

 

It had always been like that

He would order. She would follow.

He would demand. She would satisfy it.

He would usurp. She would sacrifice.

And if she didn’t, she would be welcomed

With a beating from her family members

It wasn’t only her.

All her fellow friends had such troubles.

 

She had never understood why

There were such inequalities, such ails

Why was it that she had to give up school?

That she had to be ever compromising?

And had to give up her needs for his greed?

Old wise Amma had told her:

“It is the doings of your past birth, child,

That you now have to suffer pain.”

 

So if Old wise Amma was true

She might have a better next life

And he might be in her position then

But why should she believe

That what Amma said was the absolute?

‘Karma’ was what Amma called it

She stopped, lost, looking at the green board

With the white designs, which she couldn’t decode.

 

If only she could read those tiny black letters

Printed in the thick books or the stacks of papers

If only she could travel to libraries

And actually use them for gaining knowledge.

True knowledge, they said, could be found in books.

But now, she had to forget her fantasies and walk

To get the ‘sacred’ water. Some want that was!

She moved on, with an inaudible sigh, but determined heart.

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