“Twenty-first Century Mrs. D” by Sneha Subramanian Kanta

London taxis are best in the world

Like Mrs. Dalloway, Mrs. D— always felt an onrush of what twenty-first century psychology would describe as anxiety, out in the open, where taxicabs fluttered like bumblebees in the concrete jungle. But Mrs. D did not stop to get flowers. Perhaps she thought it was too old fashioned and such practice belonged in the eighteenth century. Perhaps, cynicism had set into her bones and in it made a hard cast. But she had felt, like Mrs. Dalloway, a strange sense of conceit in life, looking out at the smog smudged area of the metropolitan. London would not mimic this city of Mumbai, not even in the remnant structures of the colonial past. Perhaps Mrs. D was a warrior in the battlefield in the earlier 1700s, in her past life, wounded and dead, carrying inside the grief of loss. Perhaps she feels a constant sense of loss in the present life to remind her that there is no such thing. Mrs. D did not buy flowers, but she often made many unwanted purchases that withered in a forgotten corner. Perhaps Mrs. D had internalized the art of learning to lose and forget this way.


Sneha Subramanian Kanta is a GREAT scholarship awardee, and has earned a second postgraduate degree in literature from England. Her poem ‘At Dusk With the Gods’ won the Alfaaz (Kalaage) prize. Her work has been published in Figroot Press, Dirty Paws poetry, Longleaf Review and elsewhere. She is the founding editor of Parentheses Journal, a literary initiative that straddles hybrid genres across coasts and climes. She loves horses and autumn.


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