The old widow grinding betel
under her half-digested teeth
sits in the verandah of the house.
She calls me and asks who I am
Not my name,
Whose grandson I am
Calculating in her mind
How much land?
and looking at me, thoroughly
through her cataractous eyes.
Her infirmity makes her look harmless.
Contrary to the dreary stories
I hear about her heydays.
Like the second wife of a lazing Nawab
she had traded with axe
several lives, that were in line to the throne.
Others' children were only breathing troubles
silenced later with oily hands
in a motherly massage.
She wouldn't move an inch out of the house
but heads were cut out
and the blood stains buried in the darkness
refusing to be on any one's hands.