When Kavi was a young girl
she would sit by her window sill
looking out at her garden,
dreaming of climbing the big Magnolia tree.
She would picture herself
gliding across the branches like a snake
till she reached the topmost peak,
then she would gently pluck out the prettiest flower to put in her hair
and dance around like a true queen.
But each time she went into the garden, ready to climb up the beast
They would come out shaking their heads and clicking their tongues
“Little girls should not be climbing up trees,
go inside and play with your dolls little one
or better yet, help your mother cook and clean.”
Disappointed, Kavi would go inside
waiting to grow up and be free!
But when she did grow up, at the age of sixteen
her father didn’t know
what to do with the young girl,
who would sit by her window and dream.
So he married her off to the old bum
who lived across the street.
Before Kavi could even bemoan her fate,
she was riddled with babies one, two and three.
As if life hadn’t been unkind enough,
after the birth of her third child
her husband suddenly decided to leave.
He left her for his old mistress
but They still shook their heads and clicked their tongues
“It must be Kavi’s fault
for she never learnt how to cook and clean.”
Now left all alone with three little ones
Kavi stayed up all night learning to stitch and sew
with little food and no sleep.
with the beautiful clothes she learnt to make,
she decided to go and sell them at the marketplace.
But when she arrived at the market
They shook their heads and clicked their tongues
“She must try something new
running a clothing business requires talent,
possessed by only the special few.”
Still she kept on trying until she did succeed,
in not only selling the clothes she had sown
but raising the three little ones all on her own.
Now years later left with
grey hair and dark circles so deep
the three kids out of the house,
Kavi is just glad
she is finally free.
So she thinks now it’s time
to shop for herself
and do as she please,
but when she goes shopping
They shake their heads and click their tongues
“All these fancy clothes and
Why does an old woman like her need?
At this age she must only remember God
and learn to curb her greed.”
But for so long
They have shaken their heads at Kavi
pointing out her every flaw
telling her what she should and
So every morning she buys herself
the prettiest Magnolia flowers
and adorns her hair.
Then dressed in the finest silk,
she stands in front of the mirror and beams,
she does it all for that little girl,
who never got to climb the Magnolia tree.
*Nupur Joshi is a Writer and Filmmaker whose work has appeared in international publications like “The Written Tale” and “Literally Literary”. You can read more of her work at https://medium.com/@nupur1993 and watch her visual poetry at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsTdQYLbGbK5Z5rndhoG-aA