Talking Puppets

They are a family of four

Sing and dance for shows

Merely by pulling string from above

Create quite an uproar

Kids love stories which flow


The old man sits in his den

Crafting string puppets with his hands

Two feet in height with wooden heads

Huge nose, large slanted eyes

Dressed in colorful long pleated skirts


He pours his love making them

Whispering folklores of times ancient

Of valour and wars and of women

Jumping into fires to save themselves

To protect their honour and name


When not performing at shows

The family of four stand in a row

On a wooden platform near the door

All-day staring at space, looking bored

While the old man on his cot snores


One night, they jump down on his bed

The warrior, his wife, and two children

Pummel the old man with their heads

“Why are you not paying attention?

We are not puppets, we are for real”!


“We are the Ghosts of the dead

Fought bravely in the Battle of Ajmer

Our homes set on fire by the Mughals

Now don’t narrate history as written

by invaders who captured our nation”.


The old man begs for forgiveness

“Please go back to being my puppets

I will change the story’s narration

Highlighting the bravery of your men”

Ghosts return to being ghosts again


                                                                      ~Snigdha Banerjee Agrawal 

                                                                         Bangalore, India

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