Family Ritual

I am gladdened by the realization
That Fidelity is not the strongest virtue
Of my generation
As I watch my grandmother
Slowly draping
Her sandalwood scented voil saree
Across her wilted breasts

And outside the family waits
My brother with the car engine revving
My aunt with the door held open
For the matriarch
I fear, she has spent too many hours
Listening to false promises being made

So now we shall go together
To the polling center
As the happy family we are
Despite our differences

I walk her down the queue
Up to the booth (special preference to old age
In this part of the world, it’s better than being young
And powerless)
I wait till she slowly lifts the pencil
Adjusts her spectacles
To cross out, I suddenly feel, my own fate

I return to the queue
And wait
With the fortunate majority
My teeth gritting
In wild revolt



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3 thoughts on “Family Ritual

  1. Fidelity…its almost a myth now…its a beautiful ideal that people seldom aspire to. Fidelity the word itself calls the conscience to look up in silence for a judgement call.

    Great piece…got a lot of conteporary themes to it. There is a section in Milan Kundera’s “The Unbearbale Lightness of Being” that goes into Fidelity and Betrayal…its quite a twist from the every day notions of these words. The psychological landscape that Kundera examines in relation to that is grouned very much in the individual’s ‘world of experience’.

    I dearly hope that Fidelity will not be a myth that people will look up in some encyclopedia in a couple of generations. When I was in Varsity I once argued that man by nature is not monogamous. (‘Man’ here does not mean the male kind but all Human kind) and that monogamy (truly preserved) is the poetic anomaly.

    -Dilshan Boange

  2. Fidelity…its almost a myth now…its a beautiful ideal that people seldom aspire to. Fidelity the world itself calls the conscience to look up in silence for a judgement call.

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