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ISSN: 0974-892X


Jul 2015 - Jan 2016



The Nine-yard Sari

Anna G. Raman


It’s all about auspiciousness –
the arduously decorated wedding hall,
with its yellow and red aesthetics, bright and prominent,
the music played by the two men
- the thunderous thumping of the majestic thavil
and the loud notes of the long nadaswaram,
rising above the noisy chatter of the mingling crowd,
through the open entrances and windows,
seeming to invite the inhabitants of heaven,
the priests’ incantations and prayers,
invoking Gods, Goddesses, and sufficient goodness,
the yellow turmeric and red vermillion on the tray in my hand,
and on the bride’s forehead.
Her red nine-yard sari serves the same purpose,
its unending length being fervently folded and pleated,
woven around the bride’s waist and shoulders,
by women in her dressing room until her shy face
and braids are seen again.
The energies now converge - the thavil
thumping faster, the nadaswaram louder, the priests’ recitations
strained, as the bride is promptly placed in her father’s lap.
With the strength of the moment, the groom holds
the string stained yellow
and the couple gets rained on
with petite red petals of polite wishes,
as he ties, the fragile knot.
(thavil – a barrel shaped drum from South India)
(nadaswaram – a popular South Indian woodwind instrument known for its intense volume and strength)



Anna G. Raman's work has appeared in The Stillwater Review, Whirlwind Magazine, Kalyani Magazine, River Poets Journal, The DuPage Valley Review, Sparkbright, and other places online and in print. Her poems have also appeared as part of anthologies such as River Poems published by Lilly Press, and Poems on Ivy Leaves published by the NJ Poetry Society.