Sunita Thind: Coconut Girl


It is always a pleasure for editors to discover new poems by new voices. This week we are featuring the poem ‘Coconut Girl’ by Sunita Thind, which will in due course take its place in a future full edition of The High Window. We are all the more happy to do so as this is the first poem that Sunita has had published in a UK poetry journal.



Here are some of Sunita’s thoughts on her work and what has shaped it: ‘I have always been passionate about my writing and now I have the time to concentrate on it fully. I have dabbled in many things including being a model, primary and secondary school teacher and I have also trained as a make up artist. Make up, poetry and animals are my passions. Having recently suffered from ovarian cancer I am grateful to have survived it, although I am not in remission yet. All these experiences have coloured me as a person and, hopefully, enriched the poetry I write.


Please note that Sunita has kindly supplied us with a glossary to explain the meanings of the Panjabi phrases and the various items of Indian dress included in her poem.


Sunita Thind: Poem


Brown on the outside
White on the inside

Sarsee Akal!
Said the Coconut Girl.
Jewelled doll in a salwar kameez
A gemstone bindiya on her forehead.

Said the Coconut Girl.
All mini skirts, glitter, and cinnamon legs
Whiskey Sours and chippy butty
Fondled by that Gaura boy.

Meera Tika
Said the Coconut Girl
Her spangled head scarf gagging her
You are so dark, lah. You must lose weight, lah.
Tusee Karli. Tusee Muthi
Did you see her cousin? She got a place for Medicine.
Chirps from the harpies, the banshees … the aunti jee, the mummy jee …
The Dadima, the Nanima …

Meera Naam …
Said the Coconut Girl.
Bejewelled lengai crystallized, hot pink and burnt gold
Frenzied diamonds in her hair
The perfect bride.

Nahin! Nahin!
Said the Coconut Girl.
A Mac cosmetic façade, her  stretched rhinestone hot pants,
Holographic stiletto boots …
And Whiskey breath.
(Her dad saw her with that white guy.)

The Coconut Girl was mute
Manacled to her chura
Her dazzling bangles
Terraformed to her tika
Feasting on a banquet of curries:

A Panjabi paradox
Our sad little Coconut Girl.


Sarsee Akal: Hello. Bindiya-bindi: a red dot worn as ornamentation when a bride gets married. Kiddha: How are you? Salwar kameez: Indian suit. Meera Tika: I am good. Tusee Karli: You are black. Tusee Muthi: You are fat. Gaura: white. Meera Naam: my name is. Lengai: wedding dress. Chura: wedding bangles. Tika: a jewelled head piece. Nahin: No


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