Poetry at Sangam



LICK MY CATNESS by Malika Amar Sheikh

(Translated from the Marathi by Sachin Ketkar.)

It was when I was in my husband’s embrace
That all of a sudden I discovered
I had turned into a cat

The cat with soft fluffy fur
And large sly eyes

My large furry tail
Knocked against my husband belly

My sharp nails
Cloaked in the soft pad
Of my rose-tinted paws
My sparkling fangs glinting

I rolled happily on my back
My belly made purring sounds
Of terrific pleasure

Now I was the cat
Who would unfailingly land on her all fours
And return home
Even if she was gathered in a sack
And forsaken far away from the village

I licked my husband’s ears, his cheek
I wet my paws and licked his whole body clean
As one would clean one’s home

I hung around my husband’s feet
I lapped up his kisses
As I would lap up milk and cream

These days he doesn’t stuff me in a sack
And abandon me in the forest
To get rid of me
He is fed up
As he is sure I would turn up
Home before he would
And besides, he felt
That there was a greater chance
Of him getting lost in the forest of people

I would stretch out leisurely
In the entire house
(No corner would be forbidden for me)
I am loving my catness
To the full
He too likes it
When I claw his clothes
And rub my head against him

He probably thinks
It is better than other long-winded women
Who would constantly nag
For more money or jewellery
For all that I would utter
Was a single word, “Meow!”
And be silent

He pats me on my soft domesticated back
As he continues to work
My belly makes happy rumbling sounds

In my husband’s warm sunlit shade
I lick my catness