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The Four Sarees

by Anupama Krishnakumar

Choosing can often brew up a storm inside one’s head as is the case with this woman when she has to pick one from four sarees. A poem by Anupama Krishnakumar.

She looks down at the four sarees
spread out in an arc in front of her.
Flexing her fingers, and sighing deeply,
she wonders which one to pick –
The crimson one or the deep green,
or should it be the golden yellow one
or the turquoise blue?

She ruefully thinks if she could
chew off all her nails in one go.
The six yards of magical, smooth
silks glisten invitingly, under the
soft glow of yellow lights from above.
Since when did choices make life
so difficult?

“Why think so much, madam?
Take them all,” the salesman says,
with a marketing smile on his lips
and a wicked twinkle in his eyes.
She wishes she could give him
a cold stare but smiles feebly instead.
What does he know of her budget?

Standing at the crossroads wondering
which way she ought to go,
Pretending to look calm and sane
through the storm of choosing,
she quickly draws a mental table.
With eyes closed, she wonders,
“Now, will this really help?”

Colour, border, pallu, motifs, price…
For each saree, she marks ticks and crosses.
May the best saree win, she decides.
The turquoise blue it is, finally.
With a resolute sigh, she gets it billed,
and walks away, packet in hand,
but not without thinking
wistfully, about the other three.

Pic from https://www.flickr.com/photos/121184682@N04/

Anupama Krishnakumar is an engineer-turned journalist. She co-edits Spark and is also the author of two books, ‘Fragments of the Whole’, a flash fiction collection and ‘Ways Around Grief & Other Stories’, a short-story collection. Her website is www.anupamakrishnakumar.com.
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