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  • Shivangi Anthony

The Votive Candle



Every morning i wake up to see my vision board,

In it i see a woman

A woman who can pursue relentlessly, achieve as if it were just to tick off a list

One who can ceaselessly strive at perfection, yet also be happy in the monotony of most days

She can flow through the world like effortless wind and still make an indelible mark on a life

A woman of stature and achievement.


Around it i see pictures of my family,

In it i see women

One who can string her words together like pearls, almost as beautiful as the those laid upon my grandmothers chest

A lady of substance, who can extend grace, like my mother’s sweet treacle pouring down her bowl of bitter curd

“One who can be smart enough to construct a house and wise enough to build a home resiliently”, as mamma told us every sunday lunch at the family table.

Women of multiplication and inimitability.


Below it i see my cabinet of accomplishments,

In it i see a girl

Who has shelves full of prizes from the moments she’d believed in herself, now dusty and discolored

In Between are shelves half full, some parts hollow and empty with the fear of inadequacy while others have trophies that stand as pillars of a sense of self confidence and worth

Underneath it is barren, a home for the makuluvas and their webs, a reminder of all the talent unpursued and lost faith

A girl of many failures and victories.


Beside it i see my cupboard of prized possessions,

Inside it i see a letter next to the votive candle

It reads, “ the anger and anxiety fades by and by, the accolades last but not a minute's time and chased perfection is forever fleeting. Hold on to the simple times, the home cooked yellow rice, the mulled christmas wine and the dreams that keep you up at night”.


Every night as i lay back in bed and journey through my wall,

I remember the storms and tearful nights

Growing through humility in the darkest of times

Dwelling in the blessings and “random kindnesses”

Signifying the story over independent moments

And through the chaos and perpetual notion of everyday

The letter reminds me to delight in the person.

A person under construction and change..


Makuluvas - spiders

Mamma - great grandmother