Do You See?

Being Frida Kahlo: “I had swayed. Nothing else.”

Nothing much on my mind to write. Besides, it’s not even noon here on a Saturday.

The rain and wind yesterday had brought down flowers on bouquets of leaves in every corner. I finally picked up a bunch and wore it on my head. Walking down to Polwarth Flats wasn’t difficult that way; it was funny. Anyone who saw me, slowed down to look and smile.

My Frida Kahlo moment!

And really, who cares.


I’m in my room, with raindrops on my lashes and my hair tangled as much as my life is. The window has whitened the other side with some sudden sunlight. These flowers, I found out, are rhododendrons. Purple, pink, white and some red — abundant on the campus right now. Apparently, late bloomers because of the longer cold weather this year in Scotland.

After this indulgence of course, I had to go look up Frida Kahlo‘s photographs, paintings and writings on the web. Here’s a poem she wrote:



I had swayed. Nothing else. But suddenly I knew

In the depth of my silence

He was following me. Like my shadow, blameless and light

In the night, a song sobbed…

The Indians lengthened, winding, through the alleys of the town.

A harp and a jacaranda were the music, and the smiling dark-skinned girls

Were the happiness

In the background, behind the “Zócalo,” the river shined

and darkened, like

the moments of my life.

He followed me.

I ended up crying, isolated in the porch of the parish church,

protected by my bolita shawl, drenched with my tears.


Reproduced in The Letters of Frida Kahlo: Cartas Apasionadas, ed. and trans. Martha Zamora, San Francisco: Chronicle Books, p. 9. 

And Frida:


Yesterday, the window cleaners came into my apartment in the morning, without any prior intimation whatsoever. No door bell, no knocks. The only word I figured out to my questions was, “Aye!” They didn’t take more than 10 minutes. But hello, I could’ve been in the shower. Then, the cobweb that was forming outside my bedroom window is now gone, not sure if that’s a good thing.


7 comments on “Being Frida Kahlo: “I had swayed. Nothing else.”

  1. rohith003
    June 9, 2012

    There is a cinema of Frida…not a very good one. Still its always fun to travel a life with artists. But i dont know that Frida writes poetry…thanx for the poem Nabina…and also thanx for those words for vaana vaasana 🙂

    I used to keep spiders as my pets…in my pens box or bag or secret places of my room. And this mania for spiders started after seeingSpiderMan. Lol. And yes…never a good thing if the cobweb is gone.

  2. Do You See
    June 9, 2012

    I liked Frida the movie (, Rohith. Even I had no idea she wrote poetry until I found that one on the web. Will have to look more. But of course, her paintings are well known, as much as her life of tumult. You are welcome to use the Hindi-Bengali words. It’s a common adjective. Spiders are perhaps nice creatures. I like them, not because of Spider Man! I’m of a slightly old fashioned time when Greek Tales about “Arachne the maid from Lydia” triggered my spider fascination. Good to know your story though.

  3. Mihir Vatsa
    June 9, 2012

    After that picture of hers that you posted, I am officially in love with Frida. Though I hate spiders. They scare me. Spiders and Lizards. 😐

  4. Do You See
    June 9, 2012

    Oh dear child, MV, even I love Frida. Look up more Frida pics, mostly her own paintings, self-portraits. You’ll love them. Watch the movie too. Spiders are fine unless it is a black widow and lizards too are okay until they fall in your food 😦

  5. Do You See
    June 9, 2012

    And MV and Rohith, both of you must check out poet Pascale Petit’s blog —
    It seems she has a series of poems on Frida Kahlo. Riveting some of them… Happy reading.

    MV, you changed your pic? The Iranian tieless-jacket look was quite okay 🙂

    • Mihir Vatsa
      June 9, 2012

      Oh, this is cool! The link, I mean. U no like mi new pikcha? Me’s havin’ coffee! 😦

      • Do You See
        June 10, 2012

        No, nothing about disliking the picture. Just an opinion.

        Pascale Petit is a good poet, I like her work quite a bit…

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This entry was posted on June 9, 2012 by in Frida Kahlo, Nabina Das, poetry, Rhododendron, Stirling.
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