Poet’s Bio- Sarah George Thengungal lives and works in London and steals every moment away from her day job as a lawyer to write poetry, fiction and travel writing. Winning ‘The Guardian’ travel writing prize in 2011 inspired her to become a prolific and passionate writer. Sarah also has a thespian side and has acted in plays with her theatre group ‘The London Natak Company’. She grew up in Bangalore and Kerala (both in India). She is a graduate of the National Law School of India University, Bangalore who moved to London in 2005 to study at the London School of Economics & Political Science.
‘Shona’ by Sarah George Thengungal
Curled up in a lithe tangle of limbs,
in her rosewood four-poster bed,
draped with ivory muslin hangings
(to shield her from prying eyes)
slept a young Bengal tigress,
Held in one furry paw was –
a pullover of deep forest-green.
Never was she known to have a taste for
teddy-bears or other docile animals
to cuddle at bed-time
(save for a pair of tiger cubs
Bagheera and Rani,
a present from a childhood friend).
Why now this pullover of unknown origin,
to catch her wild fancy?
Shona dreamt blissful tiger dreams..
Prowling the jungles of Ranthambore
with her tiger mate, chasing –
startled Himalayan deer for sport.
And climbing sheesham trees
for a birds-eye view of –
the lush hills circling the jungle.
Was that a smile lighting up
her gently-closed grey-green eyes?
Did she smile with her eyes, even in slumber?
Her long black lashes that lay like fans
on her cheeks, allowed me to see no more.
She stretched a little and yawned,
nuzzling the pullover under her chin.
Soft as Shona’s golden-yellow fur
bearing every hue of forest-green
was that cashmere pullover…
Sensing my prying eyes, she gathered
the precious object even closer to her neck.
On the white-sand beaches of Seychelles,
frolicked Shona and her mate, at the water’s edge
splashing each other playfully,
trying to drown each other in jest.
Even as the tropical sun warmed their tawny backs
and the azure-blue Indian Ocean
stretched away into infinity..
Oblivious to the world slept she,
travelling exotic lands far and wide
with her tiger mate for an adventure-companion.
While I perched at the edge of her bed
wishing I could join her travels.
* Shona means ‘gold’ in Bengali
** Sheesham means ‘Indian Rosewood’ in Hindi