March 5, 2017

Three Poems by Vatsala Radhakeesoon: "A Woman," "Bangles," and "From an Intellectual Lady"

Vatsala Radhakeesoon is a poet from Mauritius. She is the representative of Immagine and Poesia for Mauritius, She is also a regular contributor to "Different Truths Magazine" and other literary journals and magazines. Her first poetry book When Solitude Speaks was published in 2013 .

A Woman

Daughter, Sister, Mother, Wife,
I’m blessed for these roles from the Divine.

On me depends unfailing morality,
My skills, my knowledge contribute to a better economy;
On me relies the continuous progress of the whole society.

I’m the epitome of Patience,
With a smile, I bow to Endurance
Sacrifice is my hidden, invisible name.

But never consider my softness to be weakness,
Because logic dwells in my kindness
and for my rights I will fight till the end.


Bangles are beautiful,
Some are colourful,
Some are golden,
Some are silvery,
some are gold-plated

When I was a child,
Mum insisted that I wore
the valuable shiny ones
on special occasions,
and the delicate metallic ones
on a daily basis

But growing up
with two brothers,
I always joined in
I enjoyed
the climbing on trees
the pirate games,
So, amidst my rushing, running,
jumping, ambush-hiding,
my bangles always lost
their original shapes,
and on my wrists,
the distorted ovalness rebelled

Mum felt embarrassed
as I was her careless,
clumsy daughter
but never was I vexed
to be unlike the stylish girls

When I was a teenager,
Rules forbade
the wearing of bangles
at schools,
“What a relief ” I thought,
Liberated was I from
the cumbersomeness

As an adult,
I’ve chosen
to remain single,
Never have I been
the Asian bride,
the Asian wife
compelled to wear
the bangles
believed to be
the emblem of
family prosperity

However, gradually
I’ve learnt to appreciate
the bangles
and when I attend
some grand festivity
or cultural ceremony,
I, at times wear
the bangles
as my choice
but never
as an ornament
of obligation

Now, my wrists
have learnt
to carry them
with feminine grace.

From an Intellectual Lady

Like most women,
I’m also interested
in beauty care and dresses
but mine is a classic, practical style:
Some short hair
that can easily be smoothed
and look perfectly neat,
Some sober lipstick
that matches my thoughtful speeches,
Some expressive eye make-up
that blends with my pensive look,
some elegant casual and formal wear
that reflect logic and orderliness

However, dressing and eating habits
are for me the trivialities
of daily routine,
Never do they stand out
among my topics of conversations

My main subjects of interests are
Books – classics , contemporaries,
Books of Arts, Science, Philosophy,
History, Politics, Spirituality
and any other field
that enhance knowledge

I read books
with an analytical mind,
I have my views,
my appreciation,
my constructive criticism
Never am I scared
to say them aloud,
to write them boldly on paper

I have a humane heart,
I can talk to anyone tactfully,
I can sympathize with them genuinely
but my close friends are
those who value profundity
and reject all forms of mediocrity

I live for
cultivating and awakening the mind
as well as encouraging others to do so,
I live for
the progress of the entire Human Race.

© Vatsala Radhakeesoon

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