by Shringi Kumari

A piercing al?p 
has travelled down my spine
for generations

The many women that have built
me— from nothing
set my teeth— in a mindless mouth
are here to speak
through my feet

Charred molasses of their love
has thickened around my ankles
to perform
to vermillion ragas
— our scalding heirloom

These bells on my anklets,
they weigh of pithy desires
they weigh of held screeches
— of my foremothers
reduced to a thread
— of women who have given me
these two feet to tremble on
these two hands to carry mudras

Today, they have stopped with me
here; eyes carrying layers of wet songs
Hands tapping on the floor
They are here— thumping through air
coaxing me into a laden


Tatkaar is the dance sound that is produced from stomping footwork  in Kathak (Indian classical dance) where the emphasis is on the sounds produced by the feet and the bells the dancers wear on their feet.

Shringi Kumari | @shringcy |

Shringi is a game designer/researcher/writer who has published fiction and poetry. She actively blogs on Medium and her debut poetry collection ‘The Saree Shop’ launched recently.

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