A Haircut for the Lady

“Won’t you suggest a makeover, miss?”,

I looked into her terrified eyes,

Pallid and shaking, the stylist

Nodded only once, in agreement.

No, she didn’t turn to stone.

“They don’t bite”, I admired my wild tresses

Hissing in every size, sleek and lively.

“I prefer woody scents, full of mystery”,

A green bottle of sweet smelling shampoo, and some fancy conditioner-

The stylist was as efficient as an ant before winters.

Lather. Massage. Rinse. Dry.

She grew increasingly comfortable with a head full of snakes.

“Your hair is extraordinary”, her fingers awestruck but,

“Cut off these living locks?”, her voice laced with worry.

“Well it’s just a trim, and…hair grows back.

Oh, and, colour it red.”

The next few minutes of swift scissors moving

Through my hair, brushes and bits of aluminium foil.

The white tiled floor now red with blood,

Or dye if you insist.

“Did you get this from your mother?”,

She struggled to clean the squirming mess,

“A punishment for rape, really.”

Think I saw a small flash of sorry in her eyes,

But I didn’t look up lest it was only my imagination.

“And ma’am…”, “Just Medusa.”,

“You’re all set.”, I saw her smile,

Holding a mirror against my bouncy mass of red.

“Warm winter fashion, would you say?”, My fingers caressing

The now groomed reptiles.

Walking over to the counter,

I tipped the young stylist despite service charges being

Already included in an exorbitant bill amount.

At least she gave me a haircut in a thousand years.

[An imaginary account featuring Medusa from Greek mythology. Her claim of being punished for rape is the reference to Poseidon seducing Medusa in the temple of Athena and Athena punishing the once beautiful Medusa with snakes for hair and poor skin.

P.S- Both the poem and the graphics belong to the author of this blog]

Scribble Series #4

His art teacher handed him the corrected homework. There was a big red question mark and a comment at the end which read, “Please learn colours correctly.”

A five-year old confused Arun couldn’t understand what was wrong with the blue and purple trees, a brown sky and greyish flowers growing in blue bushes.

Not even when he examined the tiny strip of film negative for the third time- after all, it had been the source of his inspiration.

Pain Pastiche

Snow skin, soft voice,

A frame so petite,

Light steps and shy smiles,

I’m branded beautiful.

But a tug at my reverie, it snaps!

Shards of illusion scattered around,

I am just a black woman,

A thick, heavy, dark, Negro Woman.

So you hate me and beat me,

Starve and enslave me,

But take my loathed body,

Watch me numb my soul, and give in completely.

Purple bruises blend perfectly,

I am blasé to all pain,

My dreams smother in despair,

And wash away in tears which dry…

But I write about waterfalls,

Paint bright pink flamingos,

All in my mind’s canvas,

‘Cause black women with ink and paint,

Are only witches to be shamed and cursed.

And finally I die,

My body laid next to the spirit long buried,

From which I rise another time,

Ready to be tortured, ready to be told.

So here I am again, prettier this time,

With small feet and rosy cheeks,

I thank God-

Now I shall not be despised.

Well-

I am now a Japanese Wife,

Victim of a forced marriage,

A potential actress too-

But you don’t need to know that.

But you should remind me of my femininity every time,

Snatch away the sake and the smoke,

And yes, the life too-

Berate my apparition,

Every time you see her singing to trees,

Crushing dried leaves under her feet,

Plucking flowers on a solitary night.

[This poetry is an original creation, inspired from two masterpieces- “And The Soul Shall Dance” by Wakako Yamauchi and “In Search of My Mother’s Gardens” by Alice Walker. The theme of universality of women’s oppression has been recognised and is the essence of this poetry.]