"Reconciliation" Contest Winners / December 2014 (Issue 26)


by Manjiri Indurkar

My hundred-and-sixteen-year-old grandmother talks of a friend called Mary. Mary, she says, was the most beautiful woman she had ever seen. She had met Mary at her father's funeral and had become friends with her. It wasn't possible to not be friends with Mary. My grandfather, who sits on his rocking chair and stares at the clock, counting time, says that Mary does not exist, he has never met Mary. When my grandmother died at a hundred and twenty six, her last wish was to be buried at the cemetery where she had first met Mary. I dug the grave myself, while Mary watched me all the time, sitting on a neighbouring grave. How splendid you look, dear Mary, I told her; you are indeed the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. My grandfather, a worldly creature, a study of time, now weeps sitting on his rocking chair, as he counts one painful second after other. I watch him from a corner on days, but don't show myself up. Most days, but, I am with Mary, who now lives with my grandmother and me, in our static world, where moments are frozen and no one counts time.
Manjiri IndurkarThis is the Second Prize Winner of Cha's "Reconciliation" Poetry Contest. Manjiri Indurkar on "Schizophrenia": This poem was written in my Charles Simic phase when I had several imaginary conversations with the poet and he nudged me towards writing poetry. The poet had become a bit of an obsession for me, a hallucination and a kind of schizophrenia. This is a part of a series of poems where I explore the various indulgences of my delusional mind and it will be a part of a novella which has been a work in progress for the past couple of years. Mary is my muse. She exists and she doesn't exist. She has been the protagonist of most of my written work. It is she who asks me to create and who asks me to destroy. This poem is no different. Mary's haunting presence in my life is what this poem essentially narrates. [Read Jason Lee's commentary on "Schizophrenia"] [Back to "Reconciliation"]
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