Tuesday, August 04, 2009


“Mama, when will Papa come?”
“He will come soon”, she says
and looks out of the window
of her father’s house to which
she has returned, a stranger.

“Does Papa love us?”
“Yes, he loves us a lot”, she says
glancing at the wedding band on her
middle finger
even gold pales with time.

“Will Papa send us money?”
“Yes, pots of it,” and she
pushes back the yellowing strap
peeping out of the neck of her
frayed silk blouse
silk shines but does not last.

“Will Papa bring me toys?”
“Yes, a boxful of them,” and
she looks at her brother’s son
playing with the toy train
forbidden to her daughter
toys are prone to break.

“When did Papa go?”
“Only two months ago.”
she is happy that her
daughter has not yet
learnt to count
it is difficult to count days.

“Why does auntie give apples to
Sonu and not me?”
“Your Papa will bring you apples”
and lies rest in the vermilion
mark on her forehead
Some marry only for a dot of lies.

“When will we have
Our own house?”
“Your Papa will come and take us to
Our own house,” she says and draws
a house on her daughter’s slate
it is easy enough to draw a house.

“What will you do when your Papa comes?”
The little girl looks up, surprised
since when did her mother learn
to ask questions?
and she answers slowly:
“Mama, Papa will not come.”

posted with permission from the poet NIRUPAMA DUTT from her book The Black Woman and Other Poems (Aesthetics Publications, Ludhiana, 2009: p 41-42)


Oreen said...

the last stanza blew me away...

thanks for sharing...

Monika said...


should i say lovely... but this cant be lovely

beautifully written

Gurinderjit Singh (Guri@Khalsa.com) said...

Just amazing poetry ..
Reminds me Tagore's "The Home Coming"
Thanks for posting the loverly poem and congratulations to the author.

Solilo said...

Lovely and touching!

Quirky Indian said...

Great one. Loved the last stanza....

Quirky Indian

sukumbho said...

How touching and revealing. Cant ignore the rude real. It happens, yes. How shocking to believe it never happened.

D said...


Pradip Biswas said...

The nicely woven literary work are those which at the end leaves a mark in our mind and it asks for more. This gem of a piece is one of them.

Life Begins said...

I wonder how words can create such a magic. Every word leaves a mark esp the last few.
Thanks a lot for sharing it with us. Words like these are a constant reminder - cherish everything we have till it lasts.

laddu said...

last stanza was blowing....

AnjuGandhi said...

lovely post and very touching one too

my space said...

whoa....i am speechless........

How do we know said...

Amazing! is she available in a Hindi translation too?

Kiran said...

very touching!

Veena said...

Beautiful.. children sometimes leave you speechless.. :)

rahul said...

nice lines..especially the last few!!

Pinku said...

u made me cry...

Mampi said...

Oreen-Its a real story though.
Monika-yeah, it is lovely yet not lovely.
Guri-Her entire book is full of these gems.
Solio-Right, my dear.
QI-It is, indeed.
Sumanto-The little girl has had too much to deal with.
Pradip-I agree.
LB-Cherishing, I suppose, is left only to woman?
Laddu-Yes it is.
Anju-I was lost for words when I read it.
MySpace-So was I.
HDWK-She writes in Punjabi, this is a translation she herself did.
Kiran-It is, indeed very touching.
Veena-Because they are the ones who know the truth.
Rahul-This is amazing poetry.
Pinku-I cried too, my dear, and I cried a lot after I read it.

Tandarin Nike said...

very touching indeed.

dipali said...

What an awesome poem. Thanks for posting this.

Sucharita Sarkar said...

In such a way many lives are lost in waiting and futility.

And the tragedy is, perhaps her daughter will follow in the same footsteps.

Or, then, maybe not...

Manish Raj said...

Unfortunately what has been written is very near to the truth...

Disturbing...but thanks for sharing this..

Manasa said...

Beautiful and touching!

Manasa said...

The little gal had learned the bitter truth.

Iya said...

oh man, i loved this..thanks for sharing


lovely post and very touching .

Sidhusaaheb said...

Palat ke soo-e-chaman dekhne se kya hoga
Woh shaakh hi na rahi, jo thhi aashiyaaN ke liye

Mampi said...

T.Nike-Yes, it is.

Dipali-yes, it is extremely touching.

Sucharita-Thankfully this little girl is happily married now.

Manish-Yes, it left me disturbed for many days.

Manasa-Yes, she learnt it the hard way.

Iya-Yes, it is such a beautiful composition.

Jaswinder-Dutt deserves all praise for composing it.

SS- Such a relevant quote.

indianhomemaker said...

Oh my God... heartbreakingly sad, although I was expecting a sad ending, this shook me.

Vidya said...

This was disturbing and lovely. But then there is always hope and life is all about that faint glimmer of hope. I am glad we live in times when the mama can step forth , build their own homes however small and so on..

UL said...

sad...will have to read some more now..thanks for sharing dear.

Jagjit said...

Wow! Amaaaaazing.