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Ma | Danya Bhasin

Her brown opal eyes gazing into mine, 

haldi stains on her hands

Amla oil coating every thick hair strand,

perfumes of her ancestors tragedies 

hundreds of torn up families,

but never distorting her own moralities. 

Her fingers dive deep into my pressures, 

relieving me, only to absorb all my negative energy.

Sacrifice her happiness for a glimpse of mine, 

even though I never gave her devoted time. 

Pungent smells bouncing off the walls,

fusing, harmonising and synchronising along the halls.

Crackling of tarka oils, her talent to claim, 

everyone delightfully famed.

It brought her joy so she never stopped, 

to fill others so she could fill her own empty heart.

A heart of a family apart 

A heart - two torn apart. 

Always awaiting for them to do their caring part.   

 

Silver pyramids of bartans, tawas and katoris, 

every so rusty, she liked everything clean as can be.

She never had only one in action,

it was none or three out of four stove fraction.

she enjoyed the chaotic distractions,

her, only, true time of satisfaction. 

 

Dhaniya, adrak, elaychi and hing, 

deepening flavours as the bubbles sing. 

Saunf and lashes of nimbu, 

her safety notes when trying something new.

Abundant shards of methi dana, tulsi and pudina,

inviting bright life, ‘bus tum hi ana’, 

suppressed and lonely pinches of haldi

forever there but nothing more than a stain -  

jaldi jaldi she washes off the pain. 

Fountains of jeera and rai,

daughters twisted and tied

It never was a surprise

Until the lal mirch hits the karai.

A savouring sip of cold chai,

left with circles of mal-lies.

Chunks of kalonji 

confidence ki ‘aaj main bolungi’!

Brazen as her grieving heart,

preventing any more divided parivar damage scars.

To ignite the fires of her worthy desires,

but she believes overtime they will rot away as she expires. 


by Danya Bhasin

Currently studying a Bachelor's in Fine Arts at Slade School of Art, Danya Bhasin’s artistic motivation thrives on weaving together intimate and emotional stories of her grandfather's cultural repression, challenges faced by South Asian females, and her own experiences, to bridge her cultural roots to her current society and ultimately reform societal norms. Narration is a paramount aspect of her work. She is continuously inspired by the struggle of ordinary individuals coping in our evolving world - individuality is the outcome of a story. By merging contemporary and traditional concepts in relation to ideas of heritage and religion through embellishments of symbolic objects, she is able to explore the dialogue between her mixed identity as an ethnic Indian and Chinese national.

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