Little Princess, or, the One-Eyed Girl


Her mother calls her Little Princess,

Affectionately, as the name suggests.

The truth, however,

Is a pock-pitted, flat-nosed, bald,

And one-eyed face.


        Little Princess has come of age.

        She cuts and threshes, pounds and grinds,

        Trims the wickers till her hands are raw,

        Sweeps the floor, throws the rubbish out,

        Fills the pots with water.


Still, her mother’s heart is troubled.

It feels like a box a thief has emptied.

Where will she get

A husband for her daughter?

She despairs if someone

Says in the neighbourhood,


        ‘All said and done,

        Little Princess is a woman.

        Who wants a one-eyed wife?’

        When Little Princess hears this


Her body shivers.

She sees her mother’s grief

And a tear fills her good eye.

But the blind left one

Stays dry, alert.



[1942] Translated from the Hindi by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra.

You Might Also Enjoy

Anatta Ghazal

Trevor Ketner

After a friend tells me names and dreams occupy the same part of the brain, which is why we forget both.



Brandon Kreitler

I looked for it in the afterlight lapping the edge of the long valley. I sought it in canopy, in the horizon’s fringe, past. . .



Kamilah Aisha Moon

-Galveston, TX What in the year of whose Lord
2019 to whom the concept
of mercy for everyone
is meaningless do. . .


Further Reading

Heads Up: We recently updated our privacy policy to clarify how and why we collect personal data. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand this policy.