The Nose- Ring Was Lost Here Only

-Jupaka Subhadra

My elder sister’s nose-ring was lost here; Let us search where it was lost.

Let us search how it was lost.

How the Shastras and Puranas floated out as leaves drowning the toiling bonded labourers?

In the placenta pots buried under the seven generations, why our Poshamma was anxious?

What were the sorrows of her killing her husband and gasping?

The stories of our Malsamma on the bund desiring for landlord’s sons; the rituals performed for our Durgamma;

Our Uppalamma’s dissatisfaction and the fines distanced the details of our Baddiposhamma let loose;

The magic taught by our Mankali’s anklet bells;

The fears behind Yellamma’s hiding in Madiga landas;

Our Sammakka getting ready for the battle; Our Sarakka drawing the line for the struggle; Sounds of our old women’s shredded winnows;

The seeds that didn’t stick to the brooms that swept the granaries clean;

Cunningness of the eagles that took away the liver from our Bathukamma’s offerings;

Gender of the toddy pots that both men and women drank;

The hardships associated with native cigars; the wretched days of ruffled hair;

Stories of the beautiful Tangedu flowers,

In the neatly combed plaits of the sweet faces of nose-rings and guntis, dressed in saris;

The tinkling anklet bells and the lost days;

In the fairs of Aioloni, Kotanche, Komravelli, Kothakota, Buguloni and Nagoba;

The lost ways in Medaram, Yellamma, Illantakunta pilgrimages;

My elder sister’s nose-ring was lost here only….


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