Hey Lily Billy! / Poem by Lily Swarn

Poem by Lily Swarn
Hey Lily Billy!
Yes,I would have smelt just as sweet
Even if my name was not Lily
And looked just as angelic or as wicked too
But I might not have had some major identity issues
Which were a secret part of my awkward growing years
Bumbling through school corridors in box pleated blue tunics
Ink stained white blouses with a button almost falling off
I fought off teasing voices chiding me
“ Lily Silly
Goes to Dilli
Brings a billy …”
This grating refrain often greeted my stout arrival
As if that wasn’t cheesy enough !
There was the horrid reminder
That women in pink feathered head dresses, skimpy attire
Shiny baubles, fishnet black stockings
Were also called ‘Miss Lily ‘in Hindi films
The stunning Easter blooms of blood red lilies that my
Gentle mother loved were farthest from my thoughts
I raved and ranted to her constantly
My dismayed accusations fell on hurt ears
“I named you after my favourite flower
Besides it suits you,”she said , looking worried and harassed
The fun part was the blend of Lily with my maiden surname
I could be a Bengali Basu
Or a Tamilian Vasu
Depending on who I wanted to converse with
This trickery came much later in my smarter years
The Punjabis from Doaba area
Would pronounce the W in my surname as B
So for them too I was a Basu Sahib di beti !!
I could pass off as a Lily from the Syrian Christian community too
You know like a Lizzy or a Lola Kutty?
I realised much to my glee
That my name had many potential good effects too
Now if I travel to foreign shores
They seem to like me already
For they can pronounce the name of this Oriental looking lady
Except for the fact that they talk to me in fluent Spanish
Do they think I’m a Mexican perhaps ?
So the plot did not stop thickening yet like Black Daal Makhani
It got crazy when my marital surname Swarn ( gold) was suffixed to it
Haha! Now Golden lilies are intriguing beings
I am constantly flooded with queries about the golden booty
That I may per chance be hoarding
What’s in a name you say ?
O come on William Shakespeare of Stratford on Avon !
Copyright Lily Swarn 12.5.2020

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