Saturday, October 13, 2012

Disburden

This is dedicated to all those gorgeous dusky girls ...

‘You’re dark’, my mother told me several times
She was worried about my dusky skin
Many mumbled unkind things about my color
I stood in front of the mirror one day
Asking it secretly if I were really ugly…
The mirror laughed
An interminable conversation went on
Only to burn my skin more
Crumbling my mind to dust
Sobbing I rose, walked towards
The hedge of bougainvillea
The breeze wafted in, gave me a shove
Swabbed the hollows to calm me down
The wind became my shield and savior!
There was hope, always the hope of a miracle; so
Keeping my fingers crossed
I entered my teens…
My figure began to burgeon
With a softness here, a tenderness there
There was a gloss of novelty all over
I was ready to stride
On a world full of several colors
I celebrated my birth
But, my mother once again
Broke the stupor; she said….
‘You’re growing up, you've to be careful
Never come out in your petticoat
Not even when your father’s around’
I cringed; the facts were painful,
So the mist was gone once again
The innocence vanished
Naturally, instinctively and effortlessly...
I lost my sky to day-dream, to fly my kite
The sky, stars and fragments of me mourned
Growing up became something shameful
I held through my girlhood
Till one day I woke up in my white bed
With spots of blood; my mother said,
It only showed that I was ready to be a mother
I would bleed like this for years and years
I prayed…
 ‘God, let this not happen to me,
 let there be a miracle’
but there were no miracles,
it became a torture.
Keeping my fingers crossed
I blended in again, entered adolescent 
Gradually I grew, and
I became a woman
With a perfect curve of hips and
Slimness on my waist
I learnt to take in male stares
And one day I fell in love…
My admiration pleased him too
Faith moves mountains, so they say; I smiled
The color of the skin didn't matter
Love was kind, so the reality was so much better
My defenses innocently gave away
 My heart was livid now with a bornfire within
It turned my world around
People do make this world different and worthwhile
Love is not a deception, nor a lie
You—an enigmatic mirror!!




118 comments:

  1. Unraveling process of thoughts... loved it
    I think this is not the end, life starts where you stopped I believe...
    will you put more on this!

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    1. Sathish!! For you to be so 'lost' that you don't notice the ending, was the biggest compliment EVER....Good to know that I kept your interest alive!
      After this happened---she lived happily ever after... :)))))
      Thank you for that lovely comment. :))

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  2. I would love to stand up and applaud loud for this piece .... I flowed with the story .... This was lovely, the whole journey, from being a child to teen to a grown up lady and finally the climax of finding true love ... this indeed was an enigmatic mirror !!!

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    1. WOW! Glad you liked it, Speck. It is thrilling to have you come and read. Thanks a ton for the meaningful comment..:))

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  3. Such a beautiful flawless piece of poetry !! I wish you would write its sequel

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    1. Purnendu...Now you're asking me to write a sequel to this. If I write, I hope you will come over to read that as well. :)) Let me think..
      Thanks a ton, for your wonderful comment and visit..:)))

      Delete
  4. Wow, I love it. Such an amazing, beautiful write Panchali. You touched on so much here. Fantastic write.

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    1. Poet Laundry...
      Lovely...! You inspire me. I read your poem just now and enjoyed it too. in fact more.... :)))
      Thanks a bunch for the encouragement!

      Delete
  5. Thank you Ma'am for this wonderful piece of writing! It has been well depicted. You've sketched a flawless image of words.

    ~Sayantini Bhattacharya
    another part of me

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    1. Sayantini,

      Glad you liked. It is thrilling to have you come and read. Thanks. :)

      Delete
  6. Very well written Panchali Ji. Hats off

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    1. Thanks Anupam. I am pleased that you liked this! Coming from a good writer like you adds value to the blog. Thanks re...

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  7. Wow! It made my morning Panchalidi! Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. Thanks Rajrupa! Great to see you here...always:)

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  8. This literally deserves a WOW. Very beautifully written. Very beautifully conveyed. The flow was just commendable. :)

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    1. Welcome aboard, Ashwin :) Thanks for being here with such a delightful comment. Glad you enjoyed reading this piece..You certainly made my day :))
      Hope to see you more...thanks again:)

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  9. I really enjoyed the line about losing the sky, it really demonstrated how major some changes are.

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    1. Jack, Delighted with your comment.. and visit of course. Indeed, the raging hormones bring around a lot of changes...
      Thanks so much:)Hope you visit again!

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  10. Wow! Very beautiful indeed, Panchali! I loved it:)

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    1. Thanks for the visit and comment, Amit. Glad you enjoyed...:))

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  11. A most lovely and lovingly told account of a young lady growing. Enchanting end engrossing.

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    1. J Cosmo Newbery...Glad you liked. It is thrilling to have you come and read and you read it so well. Thanks a ton.... :)
      Please do visit again!

      Delete
  12. Wow, I wasn't expecting that. Good write! I am adding this to my, "My list" page. If you wish me to remove it, you can message me on the page located at the following URL:

    http://perainopoetry.blogspot.com/p/my-list.html

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Bradley Peraino..WOW !! What a lovely way to encourage poets...!I am ready to go over the moon. :)))))))
      I am absolutely gratified and there's no reason for me to get the link removed from your list. It's going to give me some more precious readers like you.
      Thanks so much for featuring the poem, you've added more value to the post itself. I am grateful :)

      Delete
  13. echoes what every girl feels, at every stage of growing up...the bewilderment, the anxiety , the pain, the embarrassment, the realisation of her self and her body,..its all so real, it feels like every girl's story!! and yes the un-'fair'ness of being dark skinned in a fair skin obsessed society! and like you rightly said, at the "right" time, the colour of the skin becomes secondary!!!!

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    1. Li'l princess...you read it so well !! Growing up is not the same for everyone...In our society, fairness is the benchmark for beauty, particularly in case of women--Indeed, it is tragic, to say the least. Actually, the color of the skin is truly 'secondary' as you said.
      Thank you li'l friend... you have made me very happy by reading it so accurately. I can't appreciate you enough for the favor...thanks n hugzz

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  14. and hey, did i mention, that I simply loved it?!! great read!

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    1. I know...I know...I know:)) I am ready to go over the moon....li'l princess :)))))))Thank you!

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  15. Panchali, what a wonderful 'coming of age' poem. You captured so well some of the painful aspects of growing up, the things parents say sometimes that add to one's insecuritities, and then the overcoming of all and accepting / loving oneself AND finding true love. Beautifully expressed.

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    1. Mary! I really appreciate your feedback.. and I look forward to it.Thank you for the pat on the back... I wish I could tell you how good it feels to be appreciated by one with discernment. Thanks a ton!

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  16. Very lovely. The aging is celebrated.

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    1. Yes, Rajesh ! You GOT it...there's no way to slow or speed up the aging process, but after it happens..it needs celebration! It is humbling each time it happens.:)Thanks!

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  17. just wow mam ....you described a woman hood so beautifully ......it was an awesome piece of writing ,loved reading it ,totally worth to be a winner :) :)

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    1. Bang on gurl...! Thanks for your awesome comment, Vinisha. Amen to your prayers...:)))

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  18. Dear Panchali,

    This is remarkable! Beautifully started and ended with tragic and flow of emotions.
    ''Love is not deception, nor a lie
    You—an enigmatic mirror!!''
    My fav. lines :)
    Love reading you...
    Keep Expressing

    With Care and Love
    Sim

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    1. Thanks dear Sim, A bit of emotion and pain never hurt a story did it..? :))))) But, the concluding lines should have made you feel happy!! Her coming of age is celebrated towards the end!!
      So glad you liked it, thanks.
      love n hugz

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  19. That was one of the most beautiful piece of poetry I have read. Evolution of a woman, emotionally and physically, something a man can never understand, unless he actually experiences it. It was a lesson for me too. Thank you for this awesome poem. :)

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    1. Akshay..You hit the nail on the head. Only a woman understands this process of change. And things get worse when consciously or unconsciously parents tend to be biased towards the ‘fairness' part ---it really gets difficult for the child; obsession with fairness can give one a complex.
      Glad you enjoyed and very happy to have you here. How have ou been??
      Hope you'll visit again. Thanks a bunch!

      Delete
  20. charmingly confessional tone to this moving saga of personal evolution.I am sure many would identify with this.

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    1. Abin..Your appreciation humbles me..Thanks for your precious comment. Yes, many would be able to identify with the subject...:))

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  21. Panchali,

    A most beautiful poem, which is full of the emotions which trouble many at times in life. These troubles happen irrespective of race or colour...Parents and others, can sometimes be quite hurtful, without thinking...Then life shows us the ways and we understand...

    Eileen

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    1. Eileen...

      Welcome to my space. Thanks a bunch for your wonderful words of appreciation.
      This fetish for fairness can cause tremendous mental trauma. In India, a part of our society stresses so much on fairness, equating that alone with beauty, and this puts tremendous pressure on young girls!! To me, this is ridiculous and mindless.
      I see this story as an eye opener for those who live their lives under tremendous pressure, they should know that beauty is deeper than skin. One must listen to the beat of the heart!
      It was wonderful to have you here and I would love to see you more often on these pages. Thanks..love,

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  22. poignant words...nicely crafted!

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    1. Thank you Kalyan... I am very pleased you liked this. Do visit again :)

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  23. What a pity "the innocence vanished"!

    Innocence can remain till death.

    The body shape and the mirror can go to hell for all what they matter.

    Love is not about curves and shapes.

    But I liked your poem. It made me write this :)

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    1. Matheikal...

      "Innocence can remain till death.
      The body shape and the mirror can go to hell for all what they matter.
      Love is not about curves and shapes."--- I know what you't trying to say. But, I think, you didn't understand the poem in its entirety.I can only request you to go back to your college years, and place yourself in her shoes. you would know what I am trying to emphasize. Towards the end a new setting gives anew spin to her life. ...and the girl realizes that beauty is deeper than skin, and she is pleased with her love.
      Thank you for the time and comment. I am glad I could make you jot down a few lines..Thnaks. I can't appreciate you enough :)Please do visit again...

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  24. So sad to have one's mother make comments about one's beautiful dusky skin. So glad the narrator found love , someone who knew she was beautiful, within and without. Awesome write, and great topic, one not talked about nearly enough.

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    1. Sherry Blue Sky,

      Good to see you here always!! A part of our society is almost fanatical about fair skin when it comes to women, it is kinder to dark-skinned men. Obsession with fairness can give one a complex...so, I want to dedicate this poem to all the girls with beautiful dusky skin...:)
      Hope I’ll be seeing you on these pages…again n again. Thanks a ton!

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  25. What a lovely telling of growing into womanhood. How complex is our relationship with body, with self, with societal norms of beauty and rightness. Your happy ending made me smile!
    http://www.kimnelsonwrites.com/2012/10/14/there-among-the-dead/

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    1. Kim Nelson,

      I wish I could tell you how fulfilled I feel reading your wonderful comment! Lovely...! You inspired me. I'll be in your space soon..:)
      Thanks a ton! Please do visit again.

      Delete
  26. Gosh! I fell in love with this piece, especially that i can relate to it including the complex that comes with the color of the skin. Big hug from me...

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    1. Meoww,

      As crazy as it sounds, fairness is considered beautiful, sweet...…where the heck did this all come from, I wonder. A typical matrimonial advertisement in India would read – “looking for fair, slim and tall professional for fair, slim and homely girl..."--I really don’t see minds changing any time soon in India. Beats me..
      Hugz back, my dear. Glad this touched you..:)
      Thanks a ton!

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  27. WOW! This is an absolute masterpiece! It seems like this couldn't have been written in any way better! So heart touching, so beautiful.. celebrating the very spirit of a woman. Hats off to you :) And I loved your new gravatar too :)

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    1. Arti,

      It is so much like you to notice, appreciate and absorb the nuances of the poem. Thanks for reading it o well. This poem of celebration is thus a voice of hope, yet also a voice of warning, because the confusion in modern society can confuse all of us about the aspirations of women.Love and wisdom help us keep our balance in these unstable times.
      How I loved your beautiful comment. Thanks a bunch, Arti :)

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  28. Beautifully written... I must say this is such a sad state of affairs for a girl in today's society. I still face it so many times and I kind of feel awkward not for the comment but for the sayer... I am sure that person would also have been through something like this at some time...how can they say this another woman?

    It touched me deep and it is surely going to be with me for a long time...!

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    1. And yes your new gravatar is very beautiful.... adds on to the festive mood Panchaliji :)

      Following you!! <3

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    2. Me!
      So good to have you here!! It is tragic, to say the least..My blood boils when I see a society obsessed with ‘white skin’even in this century, when girls deserve respect and should be treated on equal terms. Wonder how fairness can be a benchmark for beauty..? ?? Beats me...!!!!
      Having said that it has touched you so deeply... I must also say that you've added value to my poem..I do appreciate and feel absolutely gratified...:)) Keep coming, my dear.♥

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    3. ME!
      A very happy Durga Puja to you and your family from Kolkata. The big event starts from today, though the main 4-day festivity will start on Saturday...:)
      Thanks for following me...am grateful.:D
      Lots of love and hugz..

      Delete
  29. Dear Panchalidi,

    This is one of your best..! So simple yet so complex just like a woman. Loved this one :D

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    1. Dear Ghaz...

      awww..Lovely...! You inspire me. I enjoy your poem too! So according to you, woman is 'simple yet so complex'--hahaha...You said it!!♥ You deserve a spl hug for saying this in open...LOL
      Thanks for the 'value addition'. :D

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  30. Replies
    1. Welcome to my space, Angel...I am soooo pleased you liked this poem.. :))))
      Hope to see you more on these pages...
      Thanks a ton!

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  31. Terrific piece of writing.
    You are extremely talented.

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    1. Dur...ki je bolish baba...:D
      So pleased to see you here... so very VERY pleased, Indrani. :)))Thank you.

      Delete
  32. बेहतरीन रचना प्रकाशित करी है आपने, आपके लिए धन्यवाद्, आज की इस दिखावे की दुनिया में हमें बहोत ही संकुचित मनोवृति का बना दिया है, हम हर बार घर से निकलने से पहले एक बार आइना तो जरुर ही देखते है.बहोत सारे लोग इसी जुगाड़ में रहते है की वो सब जवान कैसे दिखे, ऐसा क्या करे की बल कभी पके नहीं, चेहरे पे मुहासे न हो, तोंद बहार न निकले.लेकिन असल बात ये है की, जो आप से दिल से सच्चा प्यार करते है, उनके लिए सिर्फ आप मायने रखते है, उनको इस बात से फर्क नहीं पड़ता की आप बुड्ढ़े हो रहे हो, या काले हो, मोटे हो या पतले हो. बरसो पहले मैंने एक कविता पढ़ी थी शायद आप ने भी पढ़ रखी हो

    Written by an African child and nominated by The United Nations
    as the Best Poem of 2006.

    And you calling me colored??

    When I born, I black.
    When I grow up, I black.
    When I go in sun, I black.
    When I scared, I black.
    When I sick, I black.
    And when I die, I still black.

    And you white people.
    When you born, you pink.
    When you grow up, you white.
    When you go in sun, you red.
    When you cold, you blue.
    When you scared, you yellow.
    When you sick, you green
    And when you die, you grey…

    And you calling me colored??

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    1. Yes, Lucky...I'd read this poignant poem, I remember. The piercing words hit under the belt...mid blowing piece! Glad you reminded me of this. Thanks...You are right, purity and simplicity are the two wings with which a man soars above all temporary things in life ...but, in today's world, everything is so artificial and complex....inner beauty is something that has lost its sheen n glamour! .. society is obsessed with ‘white skin’, and fairness is a benchmark for beauty!!How sad indeed...
      Thanks for the beautiful comment, Lucky! Thanks a LOT for reading it so well :))

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  33. It's been written with keeping womanhood in mind. The way women go through different phases of life which make her confused whether she is grown up or not. Nice one! :)

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    1. Yes, Gayatri...you got the gist of the poem.Thanks for reading it so well.!!
      Thanks for the compliment :)

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  34. Ah! you speak for all of us. Flawless!

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    1. Glad you agree...Divya!! Thanks for the pat on my back :))

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  35. The best thing is a lot of us women in fact most of us can relate to it :) Lovely piece!

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    1. Thanks Jayashree....I am thrilled to know that you could relate to it, I guess...every woman would be able to connect with it!!...You made my day :-D

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  36. Nice read! Gives perspective to a guy like me for whom instead, 'the woman' has been an enigma!!

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    1. A woman is an enigma indeed, since she harbors a myriad thoughts and emotions within the folds of privacy and one cannot fathom how insipid the world would be without her...:)
      Your comment made me smile...haha..
      Glad you enjoyed reading this, DementedSage.
      Do come over again..please!!

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  37. Replies
    1. Thanks, Anisha for the compliment ... I really appreciate it.:))

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  38. I like the journey and finding your inner beauty with love ~

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    1. Thanks a TON, Heaven for reading it so well.. your comment made me feel really good...:)

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  39. Beautifully written, Panchali! The dark and dusky beauties always steal the march over fair skinned ones:)

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    1. Thank you, Rahul. Reams of paper and reels of films have been dedicated to describe a woman... and her beauty is not just skin-deep.
      Though,I agree with you that dusky women steal the show...always!:) Thanks for your visit and comment. Do visit again..please!

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  40. I read it twice to get the real feel.. Its just so flawless and speaks every inch of our life, vulnerable but beautiful.. lets celebrate womanhood.

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    1. Welcome aboard, Manjulika. Thanks for the compliment, all the more precious to me because it comes from you... one who writes so well !! Thanks and hope to see you more on these pages!!

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  41. Amazing writing Panchali! the story unravels so well that I was left wanting for more. This poem really had the allure of any good novel.

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    1. WOW Ankita...welcome aboard..and what a compliment!!! You definitely made my day!
      Thanks so much! Hope I see you more on these pages:))

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  42. This is brilliant! I loved every word there. The journey from a little girl to a young lady unfolded so beautifully through this poetry. One thing I loved the most about it was the happy ending :)

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    1. Thank you for your encouraging words, Akanksha. I appreciate them!Good to see you always :))
      Thanks again...

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  43. Replies
    1. Welcome to my space, Roshni...:))
      Many thanks for your compliment! I do appreciate!

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    2. I loved your post so much, I decided to feature it: http://momofbigalittlea.blogspot.com/2012/10/what-ive-been-reading-this-week-14.html

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    3. Wow, I am honored, Roshni !! I'll be a little busy this weekend due to Durga Pujas. Shall check out the other links soon after the festival is over.
      You really made me happy...happy :))Thanks a ton♥

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  44. This is about every girls who grew up with the sense of not being beautiful enough...thank you man, I just started reading your blogs few days back, now I am a follower!

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    1. Welcome aboard, meenakshi. Time to celebrate... I just got my 100th follower!!!!!!
      Thanks for the time and precious comment.Hope to see you more on my space :)))

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  45. *applause* *Hats off to you* What a way to write a poem Panchali. :)

    Someone is Specail

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    1. Wow SIS....Encouragement from you means a lot :) Thank you!

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  46. beautiful narrative poem

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    1. Good to see you after a long time, SM !! Thanks for the encouragement...

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  47. Aww my comment is gone...anyways, making it short this time..I didn't want the poem to end :)

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    1. awww...where did my precious comment go..?? waaaaa...
      FIF--- I got my 100th comment with your comment. So, you deserve a special acknowledgement...thanks a lot:)))
      Okay, I'll post a sequel sometime, only if you promise to read me again!:D
      :))

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    2. Oh why wouldn't I? I will, but I don't comment on your posts immediately because they are poems and I don't like to read poems in a hurry and comment in a hurry. I need few minutes to sink that essence inside :) And thanks a lot for the acknowledgement :)Okay, for you the remaining part of the comment is, I remember wearing shorts (above thigh) when I was in college and sleep on the cots in the open in front of the house, in summer and would run inside before sunrise; and dad never cared. My mom would nag though.

      Delete
    3. FIF....Hahahhaa....good one! You've wrapped up it up well :) Now this would save you from the torture of reading another poem...LOL..
      You are SMART---yeah!!!!!!!!

      grrrrrrrr...

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    4. btw, why the grrrr? ok, I won't torture you anymore..hehe

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    5. Aaaaaaaggggggghhhh....you've been unkind to this poet!!!!!!!!LOL..
      And— dammit, even if it kills you---you have to read my poems!! :P

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  48. This was simple yet mesmerizing and profound. The journey was so beautiful.

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    1. Thanks for the time and comments, Rachna. Very happy to know that you enjoyed...thank you.

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  49. Beautifully written.Lucky I came to your blog through Found in Folsom

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    1. Welcome to my space. KP :) I am glad you liked the poem. Thanks for your kind words, I appreciate deeply.
      Hope to see more of you on these pages... :))

      I am sorry about the delayed response :(

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  50. This is beautifully written, I love all your writings, thanks for sharing....

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    1. Thank you so much, Santa. Thank you for the implied Kudos. :))))I feel honored!
      Sorry about the delay...

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  51. Have a very happy holiday! Definitely look forward to seeing you next week at Poetry Pantry at Poets United. I really do enjoy your work!!

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    1. Thanks Mary. I am thrilled to have you here :)Have been a little busy with festivals...now,I am relatively free...will contribute this weekend for sure :)
      Thanks a lot!

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  52. I like dusky girls... Liked your poem as well.

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    1. wow...even I like dusky girls :D Thanks Ashwin...good to have you here. Do visit again...please!

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  53. Wow, this us an ode to the beautiful Indiana brownness :) not just loved it, could relate to most of it too!

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    1. Thanks Kappu...I didn't realize that your comment was waiting here..Sorry about the delay!

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Please leave a line if you have the time...Thanks!