Namarita Kathait is a poet at heart who enjoys spoken word poetry on stage and healing through it. She has done masters in Creative Writing from the University of Westminster and English Literature from the University of Delhi. Being co-founder of a charity trust named Bhor, her poems deal with mental health, sense of loneliness, and relationships in the digital age.
Few words of silent love
I have broken up with my father too many times,
cussed, shouted, sneered and brawled at him,
too many times.
I have left his home too many times
with promises of never coming back
and never picking up his phone.
I really have always wanted to prove him
till I was too tired to realise I’m
fighting with the only self I have.
He— on the other side loved fighting with me
because he sees that’s when
I am the angriest but strongest.
My father has taught me
that love doesn’t always thrive in sweet condoling words
a parent whisper to a child every night before sleep.
It silently works it way up in the criticisms,
followed up by a knock on the door
to check whether I am not too broken.
I learnt love doesn’t always mean
it will always understand you
and never make mistakes.
Sometimes you will have to leave
for time to create a paper cut of your shape
missing from their life.
It’s not going to give you warmest company
but will cry in front of you
And ask you to come back.
A New Town
Getting used to the bugs
Of monsoon and pumpkin leaves
That my landlady is growing outside my door.
Getting used to the quick soup
Of Zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, penne pasta
That Jhilmil is cooking for me during her visit.
Getting used to catching lifts
From newly made acquaintances
Who are slowly recognizing me in this small town.
Getting used to feelings clouds
On my skin, hiding the valley below me
Like white snow over green pines
Getting used to the loneliness
that comes as a gift of nature
An absolute for a poetry.
On how to make Chapatis (An Indian substitute for bread)
Kneading dough and rolling chapattis are so tedious
takes twenty minutes for me till I make enough
The stigma of this chore is associated with me being a girl
and my conscious resists the whole method like
a sour taste of spoiled milk
This is how mother does it—
twenty years of grey hair still adept at her skills
her chapattis remain unbeatable
all because of lifetime practice winning
against deteriorating sensory nerves
And thousand miles far, over many oceans
The landlady I met here in London from the same village as I
far from home land like I
tells me how she loathes making chapatti
such a tedious work as it is.
Step one— is being a casualty in a war
no matter what utensil you use,
you will get the white flour on you
then your hands go deep inside it
and you care enough not to make it wet
an exercise for hand muscles
Step two— flattening the dough in a round shape
we all make maps of many countries our first time
instead of a globe
By the time you roll the chapatti
you have started to care a lot
whether it will look good on the plate or not
Step three is playing by fire
and you burn yourself at least once
Never imagined that you could be such a fire juggler
as you flip the chapati on stove
And cry whenever outcome isn’t what you hoped for
a burnt uncooked chapati that no one would like to eat
I wonder why I dislike the practice of making chapati
because they obligate me to do it ?
like my mother or landlady accepted their fates?
or because it’s simply boring, endless and repetitive?