Bijay Kant Dubey

The Memsaheb Of My Bungalow - Poem by Bijay Kant Dubey

A little ahead superior wife,
May be richer than, better in complexion or in position,
I mean the villagerly girl,
Wanting to be modern-modern,
Going with the vanity bag
In up-to-date, but outdated in
The latest attire.

And lo, she is with the vanity bag,
With Bobby-cut hair,
Lipstick, face powder and cream applied,
Rosy-rosy and so sweet and young,
Just like a theatre girl,
Going her way,
In her rocking style
With an air of ego and vanity,
Of looking beautiful-beautiful
And I following from behind
In cramped loose shirt and pants
Uncombed and unironed.

My comparatively modern wife going to bazaar
And I following her,
She with a leather vanity bag
But I with a nylon plastic bag,
She ahead of me
But I following from behind,
Keeping a watch on her,
With whom smiles she,
Has she smiled or not
While going the way,
I marking it, taking a note of?

My wife looking like a memsahib,
Not a British officer’s, but an Indian brown saheb’s
Imitating Indian wife,
She like a memsahib
And I a servant of hers,
She asking me to do household jobs
And I doing submissively,
May be it she will leave me
And go away,
As she is modern and up-to-date
And I lagging behind.

From a distance where is she going,
Wearing and dressing,
In a fine make-up and dress-up
Powdered and creamed
A fashion and apparel designer girl,
A beautician on the way,
I marking from a distance
Whether she taking a turn or stopping
Or talking to or smiling at
Just like a domestic spy, but not as a villain,
Where is my memsahib going,
Not a British, but Indian memsahib,
My bibi,
Saheb, bibi aur gulam
And they playing cards in British-time
To beat the Indian summer.

My wife with the vanity bag and I with
The plastic bag
Going the way, to bazaar
And I following from behind,
She in the sandals
And I in the torn rubber slippers,
She lipstick-applied and powdered
And I in clumsy and odd clothes
Wearing dhoti and kurta,
She going to market in a make-up
And I after my bibi,
She smiling critically
And I trying to make it out laboriously.

Younger, better and more intelligent
I fear I may lose her,
Someone may misguide and take her away,
As the world is not good at all,
Maybe she immature,
But will understand later on,
When age will overshadow her,
The sense will dawn upon,
Not now, it will take time,
As she is young enough
And the age-difference too is there
And the other I too do not want to take her to market.

My stylistic memsaheb younger and superior,
Richer and wiser
As for age-gap, intelligence and modernity sake,
Going to market
And I following from behind,
She in sandals and Western attire
With a vanity bag hanging from
And I in clumsy dhoti and kurta and rubber slippers
And she failing to recognize the servant,
The henpecked hubby.

My memsahib looking pretty and beautiful,
Younger and cute,
Modern but countrified
With the newer but outmoded dress of her own,
As the trend has changed, going her way
And I following from behind
The queen of my heart,
Following from behind
Where the dressed-up memsahib going,
Where my ladylove.

What to do as I too fail to give her cosmetics
And dress materials,
I too am after my daily trifles,
My earning too not good,
She herself tries to look after the affairs
And the things in the control of
And hence, the mentality
And lo, she is twisting her lips and face
As her notoriety I can understand,
The love of a countrified, but simple girl.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Poem Edited: Thursday, August 29, 2013

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