A Desire in the Bangles

by Gagan Gill

A desire is in the girl’s bangles:
first they will break on his bed
then on the threshold of his house.
But why on the threshold?
Because in the girl there is a woman
mourning — who is not yet
a widow
but a widow to be.
The girl’s fear throbs in her veins
as far as her bangles
The girl’s desire throbs in them
The girl’s mourning throbs in them
Where is the girl’s man
for whom mourning runs in her veins
for whom desire is in her bangles?
Her man is caught
in some other body
some other dream
sorrow, other tears
His every sorrow, dream, tear
is beyond the reach of the mourning girl…
But the girl is only a girl
in her is that primal innocence,
madness, death,
whose punishment
she will give to that man
one day
when she will break her bangles…

The literal translation of this poem was made by Lucy Rosenstein

The final translated version of the poem is by Jane Duran


A Hindu woman wears glass bangles as a sign of marriage and must break these when she becomes a widow.

Poem from Ek din lautegi larki (One day the girl will return).


  1. January 29th, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    abha says:

    wow! very sad but a wonderful poem. yes i think the life of all women is like this and i love the way this poem talks about thes hard feelings

  2. October 2nd, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Kenisha says:

    I was drawn by the hoetnsy of what you write

  3. May 27th, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Madhavi says:

    Hi, I've been looking for the original but am unable to find it. Could you tell me if it is available online? Thanks.

    PTC Responds:

    Try clicking on Original version!

  4. March 19th, 2012 at 6:39 am

    RENU GIHAR says:

    its really nice poem

  5. May 22nd, 2010 at 11:55 am

    ambrish says:

    the bangles that personifies the joys of married women,
    which will make sound of pleasures when the togetherness flourishes ,
    when the relationship is shared by the two,
    when the kinship is drawn with intimacy and be sensibly woven,
    but in the absence of desired affections and care
    these only bangles have the anxiety ,insecurity
    that life long in it ,she hears the sounds of melancholy,
    these innocent bangles have the fragility of raw dreams ,
    of unbaked pots,
    of unaccomplished broken recitals,
    that it may have the desired things in effect but if they are not in tune
    then they will lead and color a disaster ,
    a life long chain of wreckage ,a queue of hurt-situations
    wishes start breaking first on his bed ;reluctant but surrendering towards the man's deliberations,
    who is already entangled ,engulfed with the other body ,other matters
    the woman is ready for the every bit of sufferings to be with him,to be of him
    but his agonies,his joys ;his tears ;his soul is not shared with her ,
    is not accessible and shown to her ,
    and lastly she ruins this fake -relation by breaking her bangles on the threshold of 'his' house................
    to be a widow of a man who was not her 'husband'.............


  6. March 27th, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    M A Rasheed says:

    I t is a sad and heart breaking poetry. It reflected the pain and helpless situation. On demise of her husband she looses every grain of hope and only desire left with her to die but cannot come as you wish. I like it very much. Rasheed



  7. February 25th, 2010 at 9:15 am

    hameed anjum says:

    a good site I would like to urdu version

  8. May 13th, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    sheelnigam says:

    in india,a girl breaks her glass bangles when she becomes a widow but wears gold bangles,if she can afford afterwords.


    when she will break her bangles, a new pair of gold bangles will be there, which will never break and make her more firm in her life.

    these are the ideas came to my mind after reading this poem.a lovely poem which has shown the miserable life of a girl.

  9. June 9th, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Tashara Chambliss says:

    I enjoyed the meaning of this poem. I am presenting it in graduate class.