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Glib lies rolling off tongues
like the umpteen *rotis women roll
to feed an army that is her family
mother in law, father in law,
brothers in law, sisters in law
sometimes an old grandmother and a grandfather too
the husband, and her own children
also uncles and aunts, nieces and nephews,
the odd unexpected guests and the helpers too…

Glib lies, so smooth
like the umpteen rotis women roll
from balls of kneaded dough
dipped in dry flour, the excess carefully patted off,
then slightly flattened in the palms of the hand
given shape on heavy stone boards
by deft hands wielding rolling pins
perfect circles so smooth, ready to face trial by fire
and be singed by searing flames…

Glib lies feeding rumors
unlike the rotis women roll
unready to face trial by fire
they hide from searing flames
sowing distrust, maiming and numbing
tearing apart the closely knit everywhere
creating unsurmountable chasms from minor cracks,
in mere moments turning ripples into unstoppable currents
drowning the unsuspecting in abject misery…

Glib lies feeding insecurities
unlike the rotis women roll


© Shail Mohan 2021

*rotis = Indian flat bread