Grandmother’s Godrej: I
The women of the house
could no longer embrace
the squatting wooden thing.

They needed something
more solid than fluting
something that did not desire
a polish every week
that did not need dusting
between vine-leaves
and flower whorls.

The Godrej
steely-straight with no deceptive
dirt-seducing curves
arrived in a cart
with much pageantry.
Various men in sweaty vests
pushed pulled shouted swore
until it stood tall and grey in
a snooty little corner
all by itself.

It flaunted
its cursive name and soon became a womb
for aging silks, perfumes, powders while the
wooden thing sat barren by the bed with only
fake chiffons for company.

The new almirah was cold and cranky,
demanded silence while it creaked and
croaked and could not be opened when
babies slept. In hushed tones people

talked about how clothes were no longer
cared for by crunchy neem leaves but by
the miniature-snowball splendour
of naphthalene balls.