My Crowned Childhood


My Crowned Childhood        


Tilt the gas cylinder horizontally.

Roll it on the floor.  

Rotis* cooked. 

Dairy Milk devoured. 


Embellish the rips 

of my backpack with

Gryffindor pins and stickers.

A wand key-ring rewarded. 


A bucket of lukewarm water.

Ration for washing

body and long hair. 

Shampoo doesn’t burn eyes.


Sip lime-water from the 

reused coke bottle.

Pretend you’re sipping cola. 

No glasses to clean.


No fingerprints, turmeric stains,

or pen markings

on the book borrowed.   

Another one promised.


Handle the bright red track-point 

on dad’s laptop as delicately 

as glass crockery when serving guests.  

His sandal stays on the floor.


My favourite— 

pick one dress from cousin’s

wardrobe. Twirl like a princess.

Lock it in my cupboard. 


My childhood

crowned with games.



Rotis*: A round flatbread prepared in India.


 Mehak Goyal 


A Computer Science Engineer with a Masters in Management from Imperial College London, Mehak ran a couple of profitable start-ups, before committing herself to becoming a full-time writer. Shortlisted for the Sakhi Awards and the Cinnamon press literature awards, her writings have appeared or are forthcoming in The American Journal of Poetry, One Art, The Madras Courier(India), The Woman Who Roar, Muse(India), The Alipore Post(India) and elsewhere. She is working on her first poetry collection. Follow her on IG @poetic_quill.  


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