Mango Grove, poetry by Vipanjeet Kaur at
Rajendra Biswal

Mango Grove

Mango Grove

written by: Vipanjeet Kaur



I look at a levelled field:
a piece of land where once was verdant
a spacious mango grove
whose shade protected me
in the sultry summer
of my childhood.
I loved sitting
on its branches laden
with raw fruit.

No longer exists
that grove of leisure
and instruction
on that plot of land now:
the trees have been uprooted
in the intense cyclonic storms of life.

I revisit
that cosy enclosure again,
but in my memories alone;
the swings of leisure
begin to sway again
in the autumn of my heart.

I remember still:
how girls older than me
would gather in the afternoon
under the cool shade
of the mango trees
and gossip while embroidering
bright leafy patterns on fabric,
and on my mind;
how I listened to them with curiosity;
how I was both bewildered and amused
while learning the verities of life;
and how they (consciously or unconsciously)
whispered the patriarchal secrets
in the formative (y)ears of my girlhood.

The grove has turned verdant again –
not outside but inside me –
its mangoes have ripened now.
It has canopied my being.
I am amongst its yellow ripe mangoes
within its cool darkling shade:

It exists within me –
not only on the fabric
of my childhood memories,
but also in my demeanor;
in my suppressed self; and
in my hushed feminine smiles-

The grove of patriarchy
veils my being;
I am within it
invisible, and
striving to separate myself
in a futile search for my self;
to scream and shout;
to compose a symphony
for my unheard voice
while treading towards
the autumnal silence
of my life.

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