I was perhaps at my most free state of being in the silent gloom of my mothers’ womb,
Where I was untouched by the hard feelings of the outside world
A nine month refugee I was within her and, would speak to her
by kicking on the walls of what was called a half-full stomach, to which she would rejoice in glee
And there did come a time when I was no longer fit to be a resident
In this safe haven; I tumbled forth outside, into the world that existed beyond mine.
The moment the air outside landed on my delicate infant body,
the soothing silence and comforting darkness was mysteriously replaced
with bright lights, vivid colours and infinite unfamiliar sounds.
There, I was listening to my own weeping cacophonous voice which was received
by smiles and tears on faces unfamiliar and odd.
I was forced outside into the world I never chose and
they placed upon me an unfathomable religion and with it a name, I never chose.
My imagination was hypnotized by the adventures of Rama, The Pandava brothers and the
Valor and devotion of Hanuman and would listen with blind wonderment to the tales of
The omnipresent and ever pervading Vishnu and Shiva, that materialized in my thoughts
From the wrinkled lips of my grandmother which I learned with time
were passed on to her from her own.
Behind the parapet wall of ignorance and the fear of the unknown,
I made prayers with blindfolded eyes to sculpted figurines with nary a doubt under my tongue,
in utter blindness of what prevailed before my naked eyes
Then I was a child inhaling the same air of conditioned thoughts as everybody else did.
My thoughts were quick and so were the conclusions that landed on the bedrock of reason
in the pace of a boulder rolling down a hill destroying the little bushes of reason on its way down
Now I am an adult in body and mind. I inhale the conditioned thoughts but, my nasal hair
present within my nostrils filters them and exhale thoughts that are my very own for,
My thoughts are now calm like the meditation of a hermit and fall gently
on my bedrock of reason in the pace of a feather
that falls off a pigeon when it flutters its wings.
I know not of the legends of the hundred thousand gods
and their hundred thousand lessons recorded in the scriptures by my ancestors
and, I find it distasteful to have a surname that highlights the purity of my blood .
If the blood running in my veins were of pure and noble nature then what of the blood
running down the veins of a rickshaw puller or that of Thumpa who sweeps
the floor and does the dishes in the hopes of receiving her daily bread for her chores?
Seeking purity in what the eye touches Is perhaps what distances us from the joy of living.
sweet dreams at night fall are poisoned with pleasure seeking and envious thoughts
that churns fear and insecurities of a tomorrow that is yet to arrive
Love, passion and truth that are intrinsic like the sweet redolence of roses are
replaced by the illusion of heavenly pleasures and malicious lies
To which we become prisoners with unconditional surrender and call ourselves religious.
They wear religion like a shield that protects them from the blade of reason
and tread triumphantly like victorious soldiers on returning from war
And are greeted by us, the prisoners only to build more religious monuments called jail
Where we are let to breed but, within the four walls of ignorance and authority.
We are living in times
Where medicine, law and sciences are praised
While History, Literature, languages and art are shamed;
We are living in times
Where women puffing and panting in suffocating clothes
That conceal their skin from head to toe, are praised;
While women in dresses whose length fail to reach their knees
are labeled uncultured and brutally shamed;
We are living in times
where dogma and ignorance are breeding like mosquitos in drains
while freedom of speech is curtailed and blind nationalism entwined with religion prevails,
that which nurtures rigid superstitions and cumbersome rituals
meant solely for the elite and that which condemns reason to question authority
And rules out the idea of morality and the concept of our right to equality;
We are living in times
Where nudity and sex is limited within the four walls of a room
while cinemas that nurture patriarchal and stereotypical ideas, pervasive punch lines,
sleazy depiction of heroes and misguiding portrayal of lust
in the name of healthy entertainment is available today for a million eyes to view.
Welcome to India,
Where sexual intercourse is content for cheap demeaning jokes
that are uttered by they who consider themselves s pure
and at the back of their walls masturbate rigorously
with desperate eyes,cherishing every pleasure full- filling movement
that is passed in shameful silence and outside in the society
is projected as sinful ,the very act of displaying see through clothes
are treated as teasing and subjected to harassment.
Welcome to India,
where family members ask “what was she doing at such a late hour”
wearing clothes, revealing parts of the body
that are forbidden according to tradition, Oh my god!”
Welcome to India
where caste discrimination is prevalent but exposure for justice |
is silenced and safeguarded by manpower and religion
with the sole purposes of domination
and the right to reason is out of the question
Dear family members,
You place upon your daughter, sister and spouses’ head , rules and boundaries in the name of
values, societal dignity, culture and traditions that you hold ever so dearly
to the extent of restricting her the freedom to breathe without your consent .
For in the end of the day it is your consent alone that after all matters that which
is smeared like ashes on her face, leaving it gasping for the air of independence
the sound of which sounds lowly and polluting to your so called morals and principles,
reeking like the foul stench of ignorance flowing in your blind-folded eyes.
You place her within the four walls of your houses like venerated furniture
and draw outside on the porch, the lakshman rekha of brutal restrictions
by holding proud the saying :
“ Well-cultured girls leave their households during the day
and return before nightfall ,lest their bodies may be violated/evil may befall them on their way.”
What is this evil?
Do you not see o proud fathers, fearing mothers,
eldest brothers and pious grandfathers,
the alpha and omega of this patriarchy infected society;
The violators’ courage feeds on your fears like a predator
feasting on its surrendered prey.
I must have died a hundred times
whilst hearing you speak ever so proudly
about your ignorance, condemning truth
that is intrinsic to my existence
And slyly escaping while your hands are stained with sin.
This denial of the bitter truth that lurks in every nook and corner
of these suburbs that surrender to the fog on wintry twilight
are the reality that shines like the stars at night
beautiful they may seem to your eyes, but are they really beautiful ?
My tongue seems to know of no limits or norms
and truth in the form of words dance ever naked on it
and in this dance I taste freedom and courage in its’ rawest nature
You who emerged out of the gravel, naked and unaware are an architect
of this monument, the society , that is sustained by your assertions
of misguidance and self -pleasing ambitions and motives
That are the base bricks upon which stands this monument
That you have managed to erect over the years,
polishing and re-polishing upon it with your
arrogant words and weightless hierarchies which
like the black plague has struck countless bodies
infecting their minds and paralyzing their conscience
to mere puppets dancing to tunes they themselves fail to recognize.
Your sur name and place of birth which you ever so proudly
utter with your tongue holds no meaning for my thoughts
you are but a mere speck of dust that takes refuge on my skin without my knowledge,
and when I bathe, you fall of my body once again, without my knowledge.
I am but, a mere number on a piece of paper to your eyes
with which you imagine my failures and wave them like a flag
but within my head, I am a celebration of one thousand colours
exploding like one thousand fireworks, fireworks of ideas, unanswered questions,
“forbidden” thoughts, ambitions and caged desires, which you squish like cockroaches on the
kitchen floor, and watch it die and not once did you weep in remorse
to this fuck-all, heart breaking hierarchy you have sought to mold
which now has infected their minds and polluted their thoughts with
narrow-minded perceptions that slap our faces when our eyes meets theirs.
I shall not surrender my individuality to the society
sinking like an anchor in a river of hypocrisy ;
for by definition I am born free. For by definition, you are born free.
Pious followers, patriots, hypocrites and my ignorance inflicted blind believers,
give your tongue the complete freedom to reason with what yours ears receive
for faith begins to fade if supported by weightless reasons that results in the distancing yourself
from what is termed truth, for truth itself ceases to remain truth if not supported
by the bedrock of reason-the how ,when, what where and why’s
and weakens the capacity of the mind to open its progressive doors
to the masses which, from what I have witnessed are hallucinating a reality
that bathes in a river of dogma, rigid and inhuman practices all of which
I hold culprit, religion and nationalism; that curbs freedom, the very base of life and existence,
condemning the right to question its authority and brutally defaming they
who rigorously attempt to reason with its prevalence In a society which
has been enslaved by its lore, myths and principles which are but, limited to
the imagination of children with the intent of sculpting them into staunch believers
who are taught to hold a belief so firmly, with which they themselves fail to reason
and this weightless belief is being promoted in the name of the rich culture that has been prevalent
in this land since time immemorial; that which has nurtured division on the pretext
of warring beliefs that has resulted in the creation of boundaries and in the discharge of a
giant pool of blood that meandered during the partition of two nations and during
the crusades , like a lake of chaos in their conscience, sowing the seeds
of hatred, resentment, polarity prejudice and terror in the minds of men.
A faith crumbles to ashes if it fails to walk triumphantly alongside reason,
therefore give your tongue the complete freedom to reason with what your ears receive.