This week we bring you Anju Sosan George who writes about the interim silences that life is full of. Her works delve into the complex negotiations that women carry on with the world around them. “Anju George’s poetry deals sensitively with relationships, love, loss, yearning… Her poems are suffused with both emotion and insight, and speak of one who feels intensely, and puts words to her feelings,” wrote Dr. Shashi Tharoor in the blurb of her book Woes of a Working Woman.
Anju’s world of words opens into the ordinary. They are a reminder that life is short lived, and that one needn’t always shout to be heard, a tiny whisper in the right direction could also create an echo of change. She believes that women like her who juggle work, family, relationships, deadlines have more in them than what meets the eye. Their age is still to come, and they are getting ready.
When asked about what writing meant to her, she alluded to G K Chesterton’s words “Fairy tales do not tell children monsters exist. Children already know that. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed.” For Anju, writing is a way of articulating the truth. A way of coming out of denial. “Writing to me is to kill the hypocrite I am asked to shield. It is also for my children to remember, perhaps long after I am gone, that I did try for a better world, for their children. Let dragons be killed.”
Anju Sosan George is an Assistant Professor at the Department of English at CMS College, Kottayam and the author of the poetry collection The Woes of a Working Woman.
Words don’t come out in a rush,
They hide behind folds of your thought
Peep from the crevices of your soul
Afraid if it’s another mistake
To speak about yourself.
I know how it feels
when you cut your hand
while carving a gourd for the curry.
It stings and draws a drop or two of blood.
You are hurting nevertheless.
You don’t stop and make a fuss of your torn body part.
You keep slicing and dicing the next gourd,
The knife still running at what it does best.
Why should a torn heart be any different?
She spoke of the equality of men and women.
I heard the applause.
The floor was stunned into silence
It was the passion in her words.
“Sisters, rise up to your freedom,
Fight your own wars”, she said.
“Docility begets dominance
Suffer silently no more.
Search for the warrior spirit within”.
I heard the crowd applaud again.
It was late when she got back home.
I noticed first the incoherent words.
Preoccupied, she hardly listened.
Kept glancing fearfully at her golden dial.
The door was ajar when she walked in home.
She hastily turned and crossed into the room.
I heard a swear, a bang and a muffled cry.
An angry voice said, “Again late. Its past eight o clock”.
The next day the crowd applauded again.
Only I noticed the gash on her chin.
We are capable of violence
More than we ever know.
Hot angry words seethe in our brains
Pouring itself out in hissing tones.
It is the end of a long day,
You are tired and can’t take any more.
You try to control your rage.
You shake yourself.
You remind yourself.
You are a mother.
While he stands still with running paint
All over his body,
And the newly painted bedroom walls.
All you know is to weep.
But then he comes running,
Tears pouring out of little eyes,
Hugs you with tiny hands
And asks innocently
“Amma, why are you crying?”