Note: The events that happen in this poem are all real and happened on the night of December 16th, 2012 to a girl named Jyoti. Unfortunately she didn’t survive although, fought very hard to. Her death led to several protests across India and sparked various questions against every Indian woman’s safety.
Eventually, she became known as Nirbhaya, meaning; the fearless one.
Her rapists are being hung 8 years later, a few days from now.
Through this poem which was extremely painful for me to write, I hope to remind everyone that she was one of the most powerful women to exist and that her death was not in vain.
trigger warning: rape, sexual assault, violence.
11:00 PM. The film was beautiful,
He and I walk hand in hand,
There is a storm coming,
They always come by surprise,
Starting with light rain,
And then hit unexpectedly,
Always leaving a huge wound,
One that could take years to heal,
I had no idea,
That soon there would be a wound so vast,
It’d scar me forever.
Yet right now,
I just wish to go home,
After a long tiring day,
That’s what we all want, right?
He and I board the bus,
There are only five people,
Yet the night feels lonely,
Maybe it’s just me?
The driver looks at me,
Looks at me again,
Didn’t we already pay for a ticket?
I turn to him,
He’s not the………r….e…….
Their hands on me are like a storm,
Unexpected and unwelcomed,
My body is the earth,
Now filled with mud,
Mud I can never get rid of.
The hands only change,
There are five of them,
I close my eyes,
Maybe not all of us get to go home after a long tiring day,
I want to survive.
The driver changes,
And so do the hands,
My voice is gone,
And so is any worth I had left,
The men stop,
And whisper amongst each other,
And then it comes,
The loudest scream this world has ever heard,
This world once filled with distant stars and lonely nights,
Now only lurks of unheard voices covered with horrendous sights,
They take turns penetrating it,
It’s silver and shiny,
Dug deep in the ground when done,
And used while making buildings,
When did I become one?
It takes all in me to look behind,
I see two of them,
Beating him up,
Soon they’ll back,
For their turn with me,
I close my eyes again,
I think of all those times I heard tales of such women on the news,
I think of how they felt,
And how I thought I’d never know.
One of them looks younger than me,
He’s a boy,
I feel no mercy,
Something must be wrong with this country,
For him to not be learning the power of books,
But the power of rods.
I don’t feel my body anymore,
I can’t lift an inch. ‘
Abh kya karna hai inka, Ram bhaiya?’
‘Vo hi jo socha tha, Mukesh aur maine.’
Anger runs in my veins stronger than the blood,
With all my might,
I scream again,
Mukesh slaps me,
Picks my body up,
Not forgetting to grab my breasts,
And then removing his hands,
Like they weren’t ripe enough for him,
Ram grabs my friend,
They throw us off the bus.
I am lifeless,
My body isn’t mine anymore,
I don’t want it to be,
I look over at him,
And I remember how he was telling me about his dreams an hour ago,
I think of my own,
And how they seem even further away,
Than the stars in the sky,
Never will I ever get to wear a lab coat with pride again,
Become a doctor and make my parents proud,
Memories flash through my mind,
Faster than this night seems to pass,
With the tiny amount of strength I have left,
I take the film ticket out of my pocket,
For a second I’m reminded of how delighted I was when I bought it,
I take out a pen from my other pocket,
Slowly I scribble,
As the words my mother said to me,
The day I cried in her lap when I was 15,
Repeat in my brain,
Kabhi haar mat maarna, Jyoti.
My body gives out,
And the paper lies right where they entered me,
Only four words remain on it,
I want to survive.
Himmat bhi nahi haari,
Sahas bhi nahi gaya,
p.s: she actually did scribble that note.