Clad in a black chiffon saree

Jhumki *, bindi, a red lip color,

Eyes perfected by Kohl,

I take a last glance at myself before I step out

For it has no preconceptions, I’m told,

The astute, truthful, unprejudiced mirror

But is it rightly so? I disagree. And I have my reasons.




Why can’t it appreciate whatever I wear?

Why doesn’t it let me go till I perfect myself?

Isn’t perfection an utterly repugnant myth?

Then why can’t it ignore those scars and blemishes?

Why do I always feel a critic ogling me?

Why doesn’t it reflect how I honestly feel?

Is it truly my own reflection that I see in it?




A sham I call it; judgmental too

For outer appearance is all that’s credible to it

Gorgeous,” it says only if you appear beautiful

Are you weary, melancholic, or fragmented?

Well, it doesn’t care, but it will notify your deficit

For the mirror, yes our astute, truthful, unprejudiced mirror,

You are simply incomplete; sometimes even hollow and ugly




It’s devoted as Eklavya **, loyal as Birbal***,

But only towards one thing- your physical beauty. Period.

Your inner beauty or the beauty of your soul- all hogwash for it,

It doesn’t have propensity to permeate into your being

Nor is it familiar with the physique of the word ‘soul’

A hypocrite it is, which masquerades a serene look

At times I’m afraid of even a rendezvous




Infinite times, I cried in its lap,

Did it understand my silence? My silence fell on its deaf ears

I screamed and clamored words of rebellion

Did it listen to my words? Did it anticipate any commotion?

It’s heartless, emotionless, uncaring creep

The pompous, bigoted, deceptive mirror-

Does it even care to know which reflection I prefer to see?


©Vandana Bhasin

*Jhumki: Traditional dangling earrings

**Eklavya: Fictional character in the epic Mahabharata known for his devotion for his parents

***Birbal: A wise, loyal minister in the court of King Akbar