The Truths That Are Always Ugly

Lately, I have become morbidly fascinated with the idea of loveless marriages and how prevalent they are in India. This piece was PURELY FICTIONAL, but I have often sensed couples looking like they were forced to exist together. If they cannot co-exist, divorce is not an option either. Why? Because some Indian families, who are high-class Hindus are disgusted by divorce. They’d rather live their life without any flavor than walk out on their partner, simply because they are scared of what society will say about them when they do.

Loveless marriages are a result of arranged marriages. Many families only look at the other’s bank account and what their reputation is in all social circles around town. They say, “The girl and the boy can fall in love AFTER they are married.”

Often, arranged marriages work. But many times, they don’t. My piece depicts that and more. It's from the perspective of a girl who has become well-aware of how NOT in love her parents are. This not only puts the spotlight on hundreds of girls who are married off, but also many boys who would rather wait before getting married.

We need poetry in this digitalized age. We need truthful poetry that tells you things like they are. No more sugar-coating things. This is why I like poetry. It is straight-forward and it cuts to the chase without any flowery language. I hope someone either relates to this piece or rebels against it with me.

I wish I could tell that when you write something repeatedly on paper, it becomes the truth.

My mother, a beautiful angel.
And my father, a handsome fool.
They both fell in love and fell right out of it.
Their love got hidden under the pillows
and their furtive kisses disappeared under broad daylight.
I wish I could tell you that my parents are happy.
But I would never lie,
unlike my father
who lies to my mother every day
about love and the promises he made but never kept.
His lies are as white as the sky after dawn
and as white as my mother’s wedding dress that got
tangled up and ripped on the door
knob when she was entering our house for the first time.
Both their days are filled with silences.
Don’t you think silences were made so that we could fill
each gap with words,
as insignificant or meaningless as they might be?
Every glance doused with poison,
my mother looks at her wedding pictures with a distant look in her eye
and I can almost always taste her regret on my tongue.
My parents’ love is the dirt under my toenail.
As a child, I would write “Mom loves Dad. Dad loves Mom” in
the back of my notebook.
I did it until my teacher found out one day and laughed out loud.
But it sounded bitter to my ears.
I thought that if you wrote something repeatedly on paper,
it would come true.
I don’t think so anymore
as I watch my father look out of his room’s window while
my mother looks out of hers.

Avantika Singhal

Jasmine N Cannon-Ikurusi