The Parambarai by Swetha S.


The Parambarai [1]


History used to be a textbook

laminated in milky film;


Plastic pink petals of lotuses

stuck to spectacles, rosy lenses


constantly clouding my body from mirrors

with pictures of pious kings’ wives


who pervade my dreams with silk jasmines

and chaste chants of cryptic couplets.


But now, it is a climber,

timelines twisting, coddling my body


claiming my torso like geography,

drawing maps of silent warrior women


marching from Megasthenes’ records

to hungry queens with their lesbian guards.


I’m suddenly de-spectacled and blurry,

a svairini [2], an erotic bhakti poetess,


my boundaries dissolve, flesh dissolves,

veins, vines tangle, tied forever to history.


[1] Legacy. Tamil word derived from Sanskrit Parampara.

[2] Sanskrit word for a woman who acts according to her own will, considered unchaste.



Swetha S.



Swetha S. is a native of Coimbatore, India currently studying English with creative writing in Malaysia. She writes about the experiences of women, especially queer women, in India. Besides being a writer, she is also a fiction editor at Honey & Lime Literary Magazine. She is currently working on her first novel.


Twitter: @SwethaWrites




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