Photo by soumya parthasarathy on Unsplash
Mother gathers the folds of her old chiffon saree around her shoulders like a little girl playing dress-up. Confided to the short-term memory of the wardrobe with the rust-sprinkled knob, the saree pops out at intervals like a deeply embarrassing slip of the tongue. She tiptoes to the mirror with tributaries of cracks spreading across its riverine surface and watches her fraying reflection ebb in the fury of wounded light. She only has to hear the pressure cooker’s wolf whistle or the rice pot’s palaver to moult her reverie and hide the saree away like the secret she thinks it to be, for the silkworms of oblivion to do the work of Penelope at night and keep the suitors of despair away.