Taj : Vijaya Lakshmy (Translation)

She died and the village grieved.

She was never a victim-she was the rescuer, always. She led people to greener pastures, helping to redeem the hunger, that was without origin or reason.As they gazed, she sparkled, shining bright. Reached a height that could not be gained by either the green grass or the great tree.

In the evenings when the children dribbled balls across the meadows, and the women lighted lamps in their homesteads and the men returned to homes loyally- she rose in the village skies.

At least for one soul.

The days went like this :  Food for a vagabond puppy, a support for a feeble old man and bread for the neighbour’s wife who came furtively seeking her help.

Wounds?  She let those heal in silence. Since she turned her impurity into good deeds, the village considered her a good omen.

She had nothing to hide. That day too, she sat on the porch, leaning against a pillar . She had forgiven herself-the Queen mother of pains. She had forgiven those great faces too, whose hungers she had appeased. She had let go of whatever had been hers.

The village never built her a memorial. She was the Taj Mahal.

(2010, Vijayalakshmy, Malayalam)

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