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The Room On The Roof

it stands tall – the house – old, abandoned, dilapidated 

the lawn lies bereft and barren, 

once abuzz with birds, bees, and butterflies

today the trees stand still, silent, gloomy

I tread over the carpet of dry, dead leaves

the rusty teal blue door creaks as I push it open

like the fragile bones of the old woman who painted it

my grandmother – always exhausted but loving forever

the paint is dull and peeling off but little do I care 

.

I climb the ramshackle staircase and step inside

it’s dusty, dark, and stinks of pigeon droppings

the room on the roof – her bedroom, and mine too.

they assail me – a whiff of her body scent

her nasal voice, the lullabies she sang me

a gust of memories threaten to drown me 

panting for breath, I wrench the window open

she growls and slits my neck in a flash

just as I slit hers in a flash of fury, years ago.

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Written by Seema Taneja

Formerly a teacher of English language, she is now a full-time blogger, writer, and poet. A bi-lingual writer, she writes on social justice, gender issues, women and child rights, economics, and political affairs, in English and Hindi. She contributes to several platforms like Women's Web, Momspresso, The Anonymous Writer and her write-ups have also been published in The Times Of India. Her stories have been featured in several anthologies. She has won many awards for her writing, including the prestigious Orange Flower Award for Writing with Social Impact in Hindi.

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Humility

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