Thursday, 21 November 2013


This long piece is one of the poems written (and edited) by a participant in our project Making Memories in Oldham which ties reminiscence to everyday objects. This particular poem is paired with a divo, a light. The poem shares the same title as the goddess Lakshmi who brings luck and protests her devotees from sorrows, especially of the money-related sort. 


when she grows, she goes
your daughter is never your own
given away in a wedding song

a little lamp
made of cotton raman divo
in Gujarati
they walk away with the lamp
daughter and groom
girl in front
mother passes the light to mother-in-law

when she grows she goes
a daughter is never yours
you'll give her away
raised for someone else

mother will pass the lamp
“Have brightness in yr new house”
a sad song at the end of the wedding
when your girl says goodbye.

Go and visit your parents
but you'll never be a little girl again.
Play it at weddings
you have to change with time and living
because home is where you are, not where you originate
what we teach is

at the end of the the wedding
the raman divo
passed from the girl's family to the boy's
a happy, sentimental moment

when a daughter is born she never belongs
to her father for long
given to her husband's family
there's a song in ours that puts it inside that

a reminder to the dad:
sasreye jata jojo papan na bhinjay,
dikari to parki thapan kahevay
means your daughter was never yours
don't show your tears
she was never yours from the start.

The song's finished, married and pregnant
at the month of seven we say shrimant
a blessing
for the child in the future;

now the baby comes
after fifteen days have a bath, wash everything
but you wouldn't come to temple
after forty days bring your child there
for blessing

when she grows, she goes
your daughter is never your own
given away in a song

people want sons to carry their name
but when a girl is born they say
we are wealthy in luck
lukshima is born, goddess
luck will look after us
ah, but luck
she was never ours from the start.

October 2013
Hindu Temple, Oldham

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