I watch my mother washing clothes in the cramped bathroom. She often sits in the balcony waiting for her mother (draped in a sky blue cotton sari) setting out to buy Okra. I calmly explain that her mother was cremated seven years ago. My father has lost it. Keeps shouting at me: your mother was cremated two years ago.
3 Questions for Jay
What was your process for creating this work?
I dearly love okra and always wanted to write a poem surrounding it! I wrote the corresponding line first. My late grandma used to wear these light coloured saris and that image was very clear in my head. When my grandma died, the last person she saw was my mother and hence came the idea about the poem. I was greatly influenced by the Inception movie at that point in time. So combining these thoughts I came up with this poem.
What is the significance of the form/genre you chose for this work?
I have chosen Free Verse form for this poem. The subject which I handle in this poem might not have turned out that well in a rhyme poem. Free verse gives liberties and yet there are boundaries. A lot of my poems are in this form. The place where I honed my skills, (www.poetrycircle.com) most of my fellow poets were writing in Free Verse. Free verse signifies the expression of emotion as the most important part of the poem.
What is the significance of this work to you?
As a caretaker of someone with schizophrenia, I can totally relate to the fact that some patients live in the illusion that their close ones never leave. Even after attending their funeral, they develop these strong ideas that their relatives are still alive. People who are unaware about these tendencies of schizophrenics just cannot understand this. As a caretaker I do not endorse or entertain these myths they have but I can empathize. This poem signifies the delicate balance between being a caretaker and yet not being swayed by the emotional energy that drains out in helping out.
Jay Gandhi is a thirty-four year old poet residing in Mumbai, India. He's an Accountant by profession, a Guitarist and a Yoga Practitioner. He derives inspiration from mundane things. Poetry is his tool to find beauty in the daily routine. His poetry has been featured in anthologies such as Persian Sugar in English Tea, Poets on the Run, Saffron Flavoured Rock Candy and Once upon a meal. His poems have been published by the online magazine Muddy River Poetry Review and have made it to the front page of PoetryCircle.com. In free time, Jay likes to walk for long distances.