Last night, the Wheaton Writers’ Guild met at my house for a splendid little Indian Christmas celebration.
Among other things, we ate an Indian meal of chicken curry over basmati rice with garlic nan, which could be dipped in mint sauce or mango chutney, as well as samosas, chicken tikka masala, and rice pudding for dessert. We drank mango lassi. We played Uno.
Afterwards, we drank tea and read Indian poetry, some ancient and some modern. I picked up Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s book, Black Candle, which told the stories of many Indian women and their suffering. Just before a poem called “The Quilt,” I read this Bengali folk song:
The parrot flies to the custard-apple tree.
The bees are among the pomegranates.
I call you and call you, little bride.
Why do you not speak?
The singer could be a man speaking to a woman … or a woman speaking to her own soul.