I loved wearing glass bangles. I had a whole collection of them, in every colour. I would match them with the saree or dress that I was wearing. Then I met Anshu, Goonj’s founder in 2003, who told me how these glass bangles were made at Firozabad, near Agra. Young children are employed by the bangle making factories because their hands can mould the bangle better. I stopped buying or wearing glass bangles that day.
Wrote this poem then … found it today while searching for something else.
Yellow Glass Bangles... The rainbows are out After the pangs of birth And my smile is wide I choose yellow And all that goes with it Clean water to bathe And perfume to keep fresh …. And bangles to match in glass with cuts I move and they jingle “How pretty they are !!” I bang against a wall And a couple of them break The glass shards draw blood I wash them away And spare no more thought … to the matched bangles in glass with cuts The rainbows were out After the pangs of birth But he had no smile He chose yellow But nothing else that goes with it Choking smoke and a raging fire Three year old hands to lift …… the matched bangles in glass with cuts To wake up before the sun Opens a sleepy eyelid No broth to keep the growl away A couple dozen to complete Before a morsel sticks to his throat The glass shards draw blood Hot glue is poured over …. No thought is spared to the wound or the cuts The rainbows still come Yellow is still chosen I still smile His grave is still His song never written Few years of coughs and fights A few miles apart ….. the unmatched lives in glass and with cuts.
Also read – What is your name ?