19 December, 2012

I Am a Woman in India

I have had my breasts fondled.
Not by a lover,
but strangers on a bus.
I have been gyrated against
as I navigate the city:
packed like sardines
they are more depraved than animals.
I have had penises flashed at me
whose owners I know not;
they only come with a pair of lust-laced eyes
and a soulless smile.

I can hold my own on issues
about the environment. 
I can wax eloquent about literature and music.
I am told, I am the future;
and for a moment I am bent into believing
in the bubble I have bought into.

But every morning,
I cower.
My ego slouches 
as it is castrated at the hands of
crotch-clutching goondas.
I have lost count:
there are too many to fight.
I may be liberated. And educated,
but my fire has been doused.
Neither rhetoric nor review can
bring me solace.

And so, I turn the other cheek.
I have become deaf to the whistles and
blind to the lewdness.
I adjust my dupatta
and look straight ahead
as they line the streets and pucker their mouths.

I am just a woman in India.

Written in response to the gang rape of a 23 year old in the city I call home. I have travelled in white-line private buses with 'Yadav' flaunted on their flank. I have been harassed and fondled, eve-teased and ridiculed. I am part of every woman that gets raped. I want to risk asking why

Update: Interesting perspectives by The Delhiwalla and Ankit. Deconstruction of the issue by Anand Soondas.

07 December, 2012

Let Me Be Your North Star

you sink 
as much as you swim;
broken compass and
battered conscience in tow.

you oscillate
one uncertain whim to the next;
highs and lows bleeding into 
an orgy of emotions you no longer feel. 

You seesaw between
the devil and the demigod
your brittle world 
waxing and waning towards
an ambiguous extreme.

As you fumble forth,
blinded and wounded,
will you not let me
be your north star?

02 December, 2012


walk through these pangs of yearning with your eyes open, 
sure measured steps. Calculated. Calm. 
You know just when to 
and when to 
breathe deep;
almost delicate, you 
avoiding memories and hopes. 

I'm a naive fool you know. 
I bluster forth, 
Knocking into dreams, 
crashing into brittle hopes and breaking them 
hurting myself on the splinters. 
As I clutch at the future and measure it with the past.


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