Tag Archives: women

Untouchable- Part 2

the first time I see her
she wears a nightie
and stands outside the bedroom
I share with my cousins

she laughs with me
about that word
in my mothertongue
that I mispronounce

she is five years older
but calls me thamburati, m’lady
I have only heard the word in movies
and on tv, in soap-dramas

she tells me about the latest movies
i need to watch with my cousins
rent a jeep, go to the theatre
watch it with your cousins, m’lady.

she reads to me
poetry in my mothertongue
that i can’t be bothered
to learn to read

she reads to me
copies of Balarama
because my cousins refuse to.

she reads to me
from across the barred windows
of the Touchable room
that she cannot enter.

next summer,
i want to meet my new friend
because she reads to me
as no one else does
but she’s gone off to med school
to be a doctor.

only because of reservation
my uncle said, and everyone scoffed.
he forgot that she made his food everyday
before going back to study at home
he forgot that his daughter
watched the touchable TV in her touchable room
while she cleaned the touchable TV with her untouchable hands
and cleaned their touchable plates
at the untouchable well.

when my dad became a doctor
he moved to the big bad city
when she became a doctor
she moved back home
to treat the malices
of the country side
but she could not touch
the malice
of untouchability.

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