Of Hippos and Hypocrites

“Cometh the hour! The floor stands open for comment.”

Measuring tape in hand, they’re all set to conduct a sacrament —

The soi-disant aunt, her cousin, his neighbour,

Putting sensibilities through unprecedented labour.

“This dress is one notch too high for your self-esteem to match! Why so chubby, don’t be

scrubby, take it off and dispatch.”

“So you’re saying, if the dress were a tad longer, I could go right ahead?”

“Uh- weeeell, no. A casual attire is a call for satire; enshroud her in jeans instead.”

“HEAVENS NO!” Cries the self-proclaimed jury,

“Traditional is ideal, denim would only spawn fury.”

“Yelch — how low does the cut go on these blouses?

I quiver to discover what blasphemy it houses.”

Well past a diamond jubilee, Miss Crite now grimaced,

Christened ‘Hippo’; at age 6, there was no slander she hadn’t faced.

Three score years ago, she was chided for being bold.

Her crime? A sleeveless Anarkali in embroidered gold.

Rebuked by a man wearing only a langot,

This was her foremost tryst with the maxim, “bigot”.

The dining hall cum courtroom now adjourned for succour,

Unaware of the massive shitstorm about to occur.

Miss Hippo Crite, now considerably indignant, arose from her wheelchair

And heightened my maligned dress with impeccable flair.

“Dear aunt, bugger off with your regressive chant.

Hopeless hapless uncle, we’ll terminate the misogyny you sprinkle.

With whose ruler do you measure your guise?

It’s high time that we overthrew the lies.

And you, my precious periwinkle, there’s no compulsion to bow to their revulsion.

Their jingoistic propaganda and resolve for regression is tragic,

But remember — no amount of filibuster could ever dim your spirit’s lustre —

Realize that you are your own brand of magic.
 — Ananya Roy

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