MARRIAGE INVITATIONS AND TRADITIONS

a poem by Jacinta Ramayah, Malaysia - poetry writer, author, poet

Always in odd numbers, at the door they stand,
I receive the wedding card in both my hands,
"You’re invited next week, the family must attend,
"Everyone will be there, a ceremony that's grand."

Have to look for gold earrings, bangles and choker,
A sari and a blouse that fits in matching colour,
Success in life is assessed by one's weight in gold,
The cost of the material too, plays a major role.

Ironing a five-meter cloth to wrap around my torso,
Isn't as tedious as getting it on an hour before I go,
Wasn’t so bad years ago when I was svelte and slim,
The sari would cling so, like a silky second skin.

Now with inches added to my waist it's a tragedy,
Like a band of steel round me, it’s a calamity,
I opt for a 'shalwar kameez' and a brooch to match,
Before I leave, round the neck I tie a pretty sash.

Entering the hall I’m happy in loose comfort and style,
Their stares tell me, I stand out like a mile,
“Why aren’t you in sari?” they hiss as they pass by,
“I’m a modern mummy,” I psst in reply.

Now, when the card arrives and we’re invited to go,
To the man of the house I say, “Please do so.”

13 Dec 2007

'Kameez' looks like a knee length shift with slits while 'shalwar' are loose pants.

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