Their gongs might sound long and holy
But hers reverberated throughout the night
Threatening pious wives’ bedtime prayers
With moans that betrayed
Their true intentions
About their unrealised dreams
Of garrulous laughter that sought to not be polite
Of cheeky queries that tore the curtain of shame
Of unselfconscious revelations that showed the naked inside
That they really weren’t used to idolising
In a bhadralok gathering amidst cha and pokora
Of an unapologetic self that she had learnt to love
After a lifetime of shame she thought she owed
Who ironically had worked so hard to bring her to a point
Where she could own herself
With her razor-sharp stare, her loud proclamations, her imperfections
Without fearing any judgments
Because she just didn’t know
How to care anymore
Thank goodness, because god knows it was wasted effort.
She would much rather twirl a glass of wine at twilight
Debating the ethics of predestination vs free will
Than deliberate about the lajja of having laughed louder than the society would allow her to.
Fools that they were.