By Devi Dang
Picture Source:

Tring tring

Pick up the phone, will you?

It’s Grandma, you pick up.

Tring tring

I’m washing the dishes.

I’m not picking up.

Give it to your father.

Tring tring

Hello, Sat Sri Akal Maa Ji.

Sat Sri Akal, Puttar.

How are you?

You both still meet each other, right?

My grandmother was the pillar

Of a monument that wasn’t so strong

at all, whatsoever,

Of a monument that was cracked

almost broken, actually

from the harsh winds,

or an earthquake, was it?

Nonetheless, it had deep cracks,

this monument we sometimes called


In this monument resided enmity,

two brothers, actually

Both fought to claim the monument

and both failed

leaving nothing but cracks

on what could have been

one of the wonders of the world.

These cracks made the pillar,

my grandmother, actually,

weak, or was it time?

Yes, I’m still on call.

No, we don’t meet each other..

Why not? You there?

Yes, I’m still on call.

Our views don’t match, Maa Ji.

But, you are brothers.

Yes, but we’re… you there?

Yes, I’m still on call.

We’re very different, Maa Ji.

So you’ll separate?

We can’t compromise on our lives.

Okay, but what about mine?

My grandmother was the pillar

which was the reason why

this monument was still


She wanted her sons to

renovate this monument

put some cement in those cracks.

This pillar stood on hope

and maybe some greed

that the brothers will

trust each other,

understand each other,

love each other.

But these brothers,

a total menace I tell you

brought some more equipment

to drill the cracks further.

The pillar crumbled,

slowly, became


No more calls from Grandma.

Why, father?

We’ll be flying to Delhi tonight.

No more calls from Grandma.

Even they’ll be coming.

Who’s they?

Your cousins, aunt, and uncle.

No more calls from Grandma.

She didn’t see her children together.

And do you regret that?

She could’ve gone happier.

Can you still make her happy?

My grandmother was the pillar

was, as in used to be,

but her hope

is, lingering in the air,

like perfume.

They don’t see it,

but they both can feel it,

breathe it.

But perfume isn’t cement

it cannot fill in the cracks,

it isn’t the pillar either.

But this perfume is hypnotic

it makes them nauseous,

both of them.

They had found something

in common.

They both had tried, relentlessly,

to keep each other away.

But my grandmother was better

at getting what she wants.

To read more such poetry, check out The Word.