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Old Dog New Tricks

By Swati Ravi Nain

I remember Ammi at forty,

She seemed to me then,

as ancient and unshakeable as a tree.

Her forty was an infinity,

a life so vast

I could not grasp it.

My eleven-year-old imagination

pronounced a brutal verdict.

of done and dusted.


Her glee, desire, innocence,

tucked beneath piles of saris,

and pinned to avoid any unseemliness.

I catalogued the contents of her mind,

with the casual narcissism of a child,

as us, us, us and us.

I demanded she stand unchanging,

reassuringly still as a ladder,

so, I could climb her shoulders to adulthood.

Now forty has come and gone by for me.

And clenched my face in its fist,

and turned my dark eyes back to her.

My mother at forty,

comes back to haunt me as a song,

the notes of which my tone-deaf youth did not hear.

With each new yearning that possesses me,

I feel the unheard echoes of her yearnings then,

stifled beneath the weight of me.

At forty the sap of my bones,

is rich and ripe

And hungry for more.

My feet are planted,

My girth substantial,

Each day, my playground.

I am gluttonous with learning,

Devouring forty-one desires a day,

My mind, a forest unfurling.

And as I gorge on a new world today,

I whisper to her, penance and a prayer,

“Forgive me mother, for I knew not what I did.”

By Swati Ravi Nain




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Anjee Bhatia
Anjee Bhatia
28 de mai. de 2023
Avaliado com 5 de 5 estrelas.

//With each new yearning that possesses me, I feel the unheard echoes of her yearnings then, stifled beneath the weight of me.//


Wow. These are my favourite lines!

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smita guleria
smita guleria
25 de mai. de 2023
Avaliado com 5 de 5 estrelas.

I am sure a lot of us in our 40s can totally relate to this. Now that I am older and a little wiser, I will be pleasantly surprised if I can achieve half of what my Mother could in her 40s. Our parents definitely seem to be far more stronger and resilient than us.

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Suman Gill
Suman Gill
21 de mai. de 2023
Avaliado com 5 de 5 estrelas.

Very well captured emotions.. <3

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Membro desconhecido
20 de mai. de 2023

Loved this!

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Pavan Kumar Rambatla
Pavan Kumar Rambatla
19 de mai. de 2023
Avaliado com 5 de 5 estrelas.

The shifting perspective is well captured!

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