Mother’s Sari | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 01, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:28 AM, May 01, 2021


Mother’s Sari

A backstreet, wet at nightfall — a silk sari unfurled.

Iridescent black. Autumn leaves — 

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Splashes of gold under streetlights. Rain in Lund

Is the same as in a Dhaka backstreet.

But the street is different, empty, and enchanting.

It recites gentle poetry of a mother's sari, of dazzling parties.

Patterns. Thread, needles, sequins — a girl's head

Bent over an embroidery frame.

The street, under my heavy shoes.

Rain spurs down — muddles glitters, the feel of silk.

Memories gather, cold, hard as tarmac.

The sari holds promises only for male offspring.

Waterworks and rain on my face, poetry made prose.

There is a tunnel at a stone's throw, past the sari's loose end.

Dark and hollow. In my ears —The Isle of the Dead.

A young soul whistles past. Quick as an arrow.


Dilruba Z. Ara is an internationally acclaimed Swedish-Bangladeshi writer, novelist, translator, artist and educator. She lives and works in Lund, Sweden, and writes from there. To know more about her, visit

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