Writing

Sati

ananya pandey
Sati was a Hindu custom of burning the wife in her husband’s funeral pyre during his cremation. It has been outlawed in India since 1892.

The log kisses the feet
Spreading its arms wide
Like a lover welcoming her beloved
After they have eloped

The ankle whispers an apology
To the bells of her paayal
For not letting them know
What they sound like
With a skipping rope around

The flame crawls up the leg in spirals
Following the trail left proudly by shackles
Elongated red marks
Singing in its memory

Proceeding to her thighs
They feel no pain
But finally some warmth
That speaks of home

The flickers, like little children on swings,
Slide up and down her curves
Chuckling, giggling, laughing
In the sacred language of the womb

The hands rest on the wood
The linear space in-between
Is where the silent race of blisters

Ends
But begins a journey
Of flights and dives
Of leaps so high
And weights so low

With arms wide open
And the head thrown back
She spins and twirls
Like a cosmic hurricane

And as the fire engulfs her head
With the last whimsical image inside it
The mortals outside
Revolve around this eternity
For whom
It is a cold night

By Mitsu Sahay

About Mitsu:
Mitsu Sahay is trying to get over the fact that she’s in Delhi University, along with majoring in political science. Apart from spending all of her money on oreos, she drools over photojournals and likes being called a feminist.
Instagram handle: mitsusinceforever

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Photography by Ananya Pandey.

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