Glass Bangle ( Kuppi Vala by Sugata Kumary) Poem Translation From Malayalam


Kuppi Vala( 1974, Sugata Kumary)

Glass Bangle


Listen, I have stood yearning

My eyes athirst

For red glass bangles.

Once, in my poverty stricken


In an eventide, near a small shop,

Not daring to ask,

Holding my mother’s finger tip

I had stood-

Kissing the red glass bangle

With my eyes,

As my little heart wept within.


Years passed, I walked

Long distances,

Through many paths.

In my youth, in that passionate

Ecstatic time,  in front of you

My Love,

I stretched my slim, glistening

Fair Hands

And said,’Those shining red bangles-

Will you buy them for me?’

With a smile laced with contempt

As you hurried, you mocked:

‘Glass bangles! No shame?

Are you a kid? Tch!’

My heart and my face

Both  got scorched,

Withered fast.

I became yet again,

That small child

Holding her mother’s finger tip.


How many years have

Passed since then?

White stars have come and gone!

At the end of my long journey

In the darkness of my autumn

I sit remembering

Those  red bangles.


My shrivelled hands,

Exhausted with endless


Never have they known

The redness of a glass bangle!

Never have they heard the sparkling

Laughter of one!


Still I find myself smiling.

Because, in my heart,

Few smashed glass bangles

Are scattered around;

And from the prick of a sliver

Four or five red drops

Are gathering within…



Perhaps one of the most perceptive poems  about loss that I have ever read , this  one touched me  rather deeply. How often our small yearnings are ruthlessly crushed by  the stark insensitivity of those who claim to love us.

How ironic that a woman  actually needs so little to feel truly loved. But that very innocence is derided often.  The  mockery of the ‘quixotic female mind…’ still continues…

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