“It is a girl,” shouted the nurse peeping from the door of the bedroom
In helter skelter haste ran the brother and sister duo, faces abloom.
Now they stood next to the bed, their small faces lined in dread.
A tiny bundle lay next to their mother, hardly breathing- was the child dead?
Their father stood next to the bed, in thought deep
While the mother lay on the bed in deep sleep.
An old neighbourhood hag hobbled into the house, face wreathed in a scowl
Up to the bed she tottered, on seeing the tiny bundle, her mood turned foul.
“What another daughter? And she is such an ugly duckling.
“Do not worry, she will not live”, she delivered this verdict almost chuckling.
“Look at her complexion, she is dark as sin, -this girl!”
On hearing these words, with distaste utter, the man’s lips did curl.
“Sin has no colour, black or white, sin is sin.
For me, you are THE sin, now don’t you create a din
Who has given you the right to say such things about my daughter?”
In giant steps two, he rushed up to her, and by her sari paloo caught her.
“You were also born a girl, did your parents pray that you should die
The gates are open, out you go, yes goodbye.”
Then he scooped the bundle in his arms and on her forehead planted a kiss
This kiss following the venomous hiss filled the small room with utter bliss.
No, this first kiss did not change the ugly duckling into a swan
In the light of a new dawn, a girl child was reborn.
With this kiss of life sublime
A love rhyme
And a dying girl was rejuvenated.
Outside the room, the loving sun kissed the sleeping earth
The birds chirped, the trees rustled, applauding this magical rebirth.
My dad told me years later, while on his lap I rocked
How he had reprimanded the old woman, and how she had baulked.
With that first loving kiss, a successful snook he had cocked.
While the old woman had quaked with tremors wild
His kiss had infused life into an almost dead girl child.
”How could I hear anyone calling you an ugly duckling, ”
He had remarked, naughtily chuckling.
“And yes, you are my magpie robin”,
Not an ugly duckling, he had added with a grin.
Posted by Santosh at 23:37