Questions on Her


Questions on her, poem by Chaoba Phuritsabam in Tattoed with Taboos: An Anthology of Poetry by Three Women from Northeast India

Loktak Lake


Fish evacuated Loktak

Smoked bullets fill her empty lubak[1]

She recalls the face of her crying child

Waiting for her to come home

With handful of rice and hope


The day falls mercilessly

Leaving her alone amidst the darkness

She couldn’t even get a morsel to feed

Those hungry stomachs


In the middle of the Loktak

Who cheats her for so long

Embracing her only namesake pride

Lost and left

Only with her flesh

To be bidden and sold


Finally she closed her eyes

Murmuring and moaning in silence

‘Is it me or the Loktak?

Tell me

Who is the real prostitute to you?’






[1] Bamboo basket