an Obituary

Akanksha Patra

26th August 1998 to the first day of spring any year,

died from pollen allergy, in a field full of dandelions,

buried far from those bastards, as per her wishes by the sea:

‘’…so little children building sand forts can dig up my bones,

and bring me home where I will stay, decorated, on a mantel.’’

there lies her, a daughter, a sister, a nurse, a poet, a woman;

lover of humanity, empathizer of suffering, winner of bread,

ever learning, ever evolving, battling bouts of sanity and insanity.

she was—

a wildflower, growing on an annual rainfall of 500 millimetres,

a citadel of red stone, cracking at the joints, needing restoration,

her mother’s Thursday prayers frantically made at the altar of Durga,

conch shells and the bustle of Jagannatha Swamy’s elephant corridor;

a jon boat on the Mahanadi, as it floods; stupid, desperate, undaunted,

a stowed away Laila off to pursue a double Masters in Berlin over Majnun,

afraid of nuns, vipers and lies, alike; took refuge in pastries and rain,

a coastal town run by fisherwomen, the weekly Sunday Bazaar,

an omnibus of experiences, filled with fires and mountains,

a warm, winter afternoon meal of rice and ghanto,

lost many times, found seldom,

a narrative retold, a movement.

died with the hopes of having her name spelt right, just this one last time,

Rest in Awe, A̶k̶a̶n̶s̶h̶a̶ Akanksha.


This work has been published in Beetle Magazine's July 2020 Issue. Click here to read the magazine. 

Illustration by Dhanashree Pimputkar

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