In light ofrecent protests and in hopes of a good result after today’s voting, here’s a poem on the nation’s capital:)
Buried sultans, Symmetrical gardens, And the smell of garam chai, Ramu kaka shouting ‘10 ka ek,’ And the vast crowd in chandni chowk, Still makes me sigh.
For these handwoven intricate shawls, The same colour as my jhumkas, Temples and mosques, Built in harmony, Are memories which cease to exist, Like rusted keys to ancient locks.
For now, All I know are, Everyday protests, By the voices which go unheard, The rebellious youth, Spraying graffiti on the blank walls, And my heart seems to rejoice, As the old conservative Dilli falls.
This city of ours, Is beginning a fresh journey, It’s finally bidding goodbye, To the oppressors which fill the station, The revolution is here, Here in Dilli, The forgotten yet rising, Heart of the nation.
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 Indiaand 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, So powerful, 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? —- 11:15 PM. 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, Turns forward, Looks at me again, Turns forward, Didn’t we already pay for a ticket? I turn to him, He’s not the………r….e……. —– 11:17 PM. 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. I scream, The hands only change, Yes, There are five of them, I close my eyes, Maybe not all of us get to go home after a long tiring day, Nevertheless, I want to survive. —- 11:25 PM. 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, What’s happening? 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, But, When did I become one? —- 11:28 PM. 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, Just pity, Something must be wrong with this country, For him to not be learning the power of books, But the power of rods. —- 11:30 PM. It’s over. 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. —- 11:32 PM. I am lifeless, Naked, 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, My parents, 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. —- 11:35 PM. Himmat bhi nahi haari, Sahas bhi nahi gaya, Nirbhaya, Nirbhaya, Nirbhaya.
“The only way to get over a death is by seeing it as a life completed, instead of a life interrupted.”
From the shimmering stars in the vast sky, To the hazy people just passing by, Somewhere between the chaos, You gaze in the far distance, Utter my name in the softest cry, So darling, Here am I.
From the maddening screeches of the crow, To the soothing waves of the boat you row, Somewhere between these sounds, You miss someone you once knew, And sigh, So darling, Here am I.
From the ecstatic laughs of childhood in the street, To the table of two with one empty seat, Somewhere between these memories, You look up to the sky, Asking Him why, So darling, Here am I.
From the hairdresser’s uneven hair locks, To the cheeky kid’s mismatched socks, Somewhere between these imperfections, You show your toothy smile, Proud that she’s taught the world to be a little less shy, And though she’s gone now, You hear her in every mark she left, For the world isn’t black or white, You don’t live or die, So darling, Here am I.
i was going to write a sappy poem about how great 2019 was but i figured i should be somewhat real and talk about how our country is doing right now as the world’s largest *coughs* ‘democracy.’
Here, Just one shop sells dhokla, rasgulla, and halwa, Just one whatsapp group sends eid mubarak, merry christmas, and happy holi, Just one street has had ram mandir, and babri masjid, And when that one foreigner asks me about India, The first thing that comes to mind is, Unity in diversity, Ekta mai hi shakti. Lekin abh nahi.
For now, When I visit that one shop, I see that it’s once so welcoming doors, Are now shut, I ask kishore bhaiya why, He tells me, ‘Ahmed ke paas kaagaz nahi the.’ When I check that one whatsapp group, I see that the ‘same to you,’ Has been replaced by, blue ticks, For sometimes, Silence speaks louder than words.
And now, When I walk past that street again, Instead of groups of pilgrims, with devotion in their eyes, And faith in their hearts, I still see groups, But of people trying to scream loud enough. For their voices to be heard, Of people who haven’t gone home in 134 days, Of people who seem to have lost the spark, Who seem to have lost hope.
Hope that one day, They’ll see Ahmed again, That one day their father in law, will see past the clothes on their body, And the name they chant, And when that foreigner asks them about India again, One day, Unity in Diversity, Will be the first thing they’ll say.
But when it comes to you, You and I both know that’s not true.
I keep imagining, That when we coincidentally collide, And my eyes get a glimpse of your familiar face, All those memories filled with a mix of pain and hatred, Would rush through my veins, And I would put on a cold outside, Murmur the most harsh, ‘Nice seeing you,’ And force my pierced feet, To walk away.
But when it comes to you, You and I both know that’s not true.
For darling, It takes everything in me, To not melt into your wide arms when I see you, Because with your vanilla scented hoodie, And stupidly charming aura, I can just be.
And when the world stops moving, And the tik-toks pause, Is when you and I will meet, And I’d ask you how you’ve been, ‘Just fine,’ would form on your lips, And I’d think how having long eyelashes, With dark brown eyes should be a sin.
And no matter how much I try to hide, You’d read me so easily, For my face would scream come back please, And you’d know in a second, The kind of power, You so effortlessly, Still keep.
For even seeing your ever so alluring face, Would cause my petite hands to quiver, And pale legs to shake.
And this is the 597th night I gift to you, Trying to make up, For all the sleep you lost because of me, And all the love in your dark brown eyes, That I could not, oh for the death of me, see,
And this is the 597th night I gift to you, Trying to make up, For those 4 birthdays I wished you giftless, And the aching pain in your heart, You chose not to express,
And this is the 597th night I gift to you, Trying to make up, For all those times I didn’t notice, how that deeply soothing voice of yours, Almost as rough as that ten year old couch in your house, But as homely as it made it your room feel, Called out for me, When I was too immersed in creating expectations, not a single soul, Could ever meet,
And this is the 597th night I gift to you, With a blue bow like an icing on the cake, And for the comforting closure we never had, For even seeing your ever so alluring face, Would cause my petite hands to quiver, And pale legs to shake,
And this is the 597th night I gift to you, Trying to make up, For all those times I never looked you in the eye, Didn’t appreciate the things you said, Or the teddy bear in my sack, The taste of oreo silk in my mouth, And your swift arms wrapped around my back,
And this is the 597th night I gift to you, Trying to make up, For every night we could have spent staring at the distant, Yet, Ethereal stars, Hoping that one day your head will rest on my shoulder again, I’ll trace your hair, And this gifted night would finally become, Ours.
hurt poetry is the easiest to write, maybe that’s why this mix of, frustration and stress, isn’t bleeding words tonight.
hurt poetry is the easiest to write maybe that’s why this mix of frustration and stress isn’t bleeding words tonight For irregular menstrual cycles math homework deadlines sore throats and failing to mug up why Israel is at war with Palestine Don’t classify as poetry because being a student is nothing compared to the pain of the syrian girl who lost her parents or the five year old who has lung cancer or the boy who got cheated on with his best friend because being a student isn’t unique to you everyone deals with it but does that really make the pain less? does that stop the night outs we pull till 3 am? does that stop the constant pressure on our heads? does that stop the thirst for grades? it does not because this frustration and stress we feel never bleeds but neither does it ever fade.
or maybe, we will finally learn, to appreciate this beguiling world, once, and for all.
Colours are a delicacy, one only some are lucky enough to see. Sometimes I think, were the world colourless, where would we be? Would we smile as often Would we feel as free for our minds would be black and white, and so would our dreams.
For sometimes, colours can represent us more than words, themselves. Look at me right now, not knowing what to write, but mind full of shades,
Each soul has a colour Each feeling has a shade Who knows, a world so colourless, and bleak might leave our fragile bodies, soulless, and our overbearing hearts, weak.
Our vibrant thoughts of bliss, will be sucked out like a dementor’s kiss. Will we become numb? Will we lose it all? or maybe, we will finally learn, to appreciate this beguiling world, once, and for all.
“For maybe, the wolf is in love with the moon, and each month it cries for a love it will never reach, and maybe the moon is in love with the sun, and each night it longs for a love it will never touch.”
Before this vast world started swarming with the undying human race, it was just a dim forest. A forest as dark as death’s eye, and as gloomy as a graveyard on a wet Sunday. Until Solis came. Solis was a gift from the gods, a gift to the creatures who resided in the mystical forest. He sang harmonious songs, which were so bright and melodious, that they ignited the correct path for those who lost their way in that enchanting yet, forgotten forest. But alas, no matter how much one tried, no one was ever able to even catch a glimpse of the rumoured to be divine looking Solis. Until Luna lost her way. Luna had been on her way to the huge Venus tree. She went there once a year, just to pluck those alluring white flowers. The white flowers complimented her complexion which was as white as they were. Luna had been strolling around, without thinking about which way she was going. She was too busy day dreaming about the gorgeous flowers she was going to have in her palms in a few hours. Then the speculated happened, and Luna didn’t know where she was. She had heard a lot about Solis, and often heard his faint singing when someone near her lost their way. But this was the first time she had lost her way, although it wasn’t something she wished for, she was keen on hearing Solis’ oh so soothing voice, so she called for him, “Solis, I have lost my way, could you please lead me to the Venus tree?” Luna waited for a few minutes, and then she heard a gentle voice, which gradually grew into the most remarkable voices she had ever heard. It took Solis just a few minutes to highlight the correct path she had to go in with a bright sparkling golden light. Luna, slightly disappointed that his song ended, thanked Solis. But before leaving, she didn’t hesitate to ask him why he never showed himself. To which he replied with the most adorable chuckle Luna had ever heard and said “It’s what the gods have commanded me to do.” Luna was puzzled and longed to know more, hence she asked him what would happen if he showed himself. She waited for a reply, but none came. Maybe he had gone with the wind, possibly to help another lost soul. Instead of collecting those white flowers, Luna now had another desire. She was bound to catch a sight of Solis. She set on a long journey to look for him. When she heard even the slightest sound of his voice, she would go running into its direction, only to be greeted with nothingness. One day she heard him singing, and this time it felt as if he was extremely close to her. She grabbed her things and went running into the direction of the voice. This time, she wasn’t greeted with nothingness, but instead a hairy man, with sharp features. She silently approached him and asked him in a faint voice – “Are you Solis?” The man chuckled, sounding nothing like Solis. “Of course not, I’m just another lost man who he has succeeded to guide in the right direction. If I’m not wrong, you must be another soul trying to look for him, but bound to fail to do so?” Luna scoffed, and said “I am not just another person trying to look for him, I am determined to find him and I will not fail in doing so.” The man was fascinated by her perseverant personality, and said “If this is so, I am obliged to help you. What is your good name, young lady?” Although Luna disliked the gentleman, she really could use some help and hence, introduced herself. He told her his name was Lupus, and together they continued their hunt for Solis. For many days, they looked for him. They tried to summon him while pretending to lose their way, but nothing worked. Once, Luna could have sworn that she saw Solis’s golden hair before he disappeared into darkness. One day, Lupus said – “This isn’t working Luna, we need to think of a better plan instead of chasing him.” The truth was, that Lupus wanted to leave Luna a long time ago, but he had fallen in love with Luna’s personality and her stunning looks. He wasn’t interested in finding Solis, but he knew how much Luna wanted to and although it hurt him, he knew she adored Solis. “Well, what else can we do? I don’t think there is any other way,” said Luna. Lupus sat down, and began to think ways to trick Solis into showing himself. He thought about why the gods had sent him on this earth, and suddenly it hit him. “Luna! If we summon Solis, and tell him to guide us to him, then he will have to show himself!” “And why would he show himself just because we ask him to?” “Because he has been ordered to! Remember, Solis is obliged to guide every creature to whichever way direction they want to. He cannot say no, because its his duty,” I told Luna. Luna excitedly started jumping around, and after she had calmed down, we took our plan forward. As per our wish, Solis came and when we told him our destination, he said with hesitation in his voice – “ But I am not supposed to show myself to you creatures,” To which Luna replied, “Its your duty to guide us to our destination, and you must do so.” Solis then quietly showed himself. Luna saw him and gasped. He had god like features, which were glowing because of the shimmering golden light surround his body. He carried a mysterious aura around him, which made him stand out from everybody else. Luna had never seen someone so charming and beguiling before. His intense gaze glimmered into her lost eyes. Unfortunately, all good things don’t last forever. Before any of them had time to say anything, thunder and lightning struck out of nowhere. The thunder seemed to crack the air, as if the very heavens might split apart, which sort of happened. An enormous figure appeared, with huge features, and a body ten times the normal size. “SOLIS! I COMMANDED YOU TO NEVER SHOW YOUR FACE TO ANY CREATURE, WHY HAVE YOU DISOBEYED ME?” Solis replied in a scared tone – “Oh lord, they asked me to guide them to me, and as it’s my duty to do so, I was obliged to show myself.” God was outraged, and announced- “NEVERTHELESS, YOU ALL DESERVED TO BE CURSED FOR MAKING SUCH A FOOLISH MISTAKE.” They all gasped, and begged for forgiveness, but of course god was too angered to feel any amount of sympathy for us. He began again, “FIRSTLY, SOLIS YOU ARE FORBIDDEN TO STEP FOOT IN THIS LAND AGAIN. YOU WILL NOW STAY IN THE SKY AND PROVIDE LIGHT TO THE CREATURES DURING THE DAY.” “SECOND, LUNA AS YOU ARE IN LOVE WITH SOLIS. YOU ARE FORBIDDEN TO EVER BE ABLE TO TOUCH HIM AGAIN, AND YOU WILL NOW STAY IN THE SKY AND PROVIDE LIGHT TO THE CREATURES DURING THE NIGHT. AS SOLIS WILL DRIFT FROM THE EARTH, YOU WILL ENTER WITHOUT COMING CLOSE TO HIM.” “AND AS FOR YOU, LUPUS. YOU WERE THE MAIN CAUSE OF THIS. AS YOU ARE IN LOVE WITH LUNA, I PUNISH YOU TO STAY IN THIS LAND FOREVER ALONE. EVERY MONTH YOU WILL CRY FOR HER BUT YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO REACH HER.” Then the god left, after destroying the love they had. Luna cried tears upon hearing the curse and created the stars. Lupus looked at Luna one last time and said, “I will look for you among the stars,” and disappeared. ‘Solis’ which is Latin for Sun, became the source of light for the creatures during the day. When it set, then came ‘Luna’, Latin for Moon, she lightened up the world during the night. Providing them with hope, even during the darkest of times, just like her persona. Lupus, Latin for ‘wolf’ remained forever alone, and once a month, tried to jump and reach the moon while howling loudly for its love. “For maybe, the wolf is in love with the moon, and each month it cries for a love it will never reach, and maybe the moon is in love with the sun, and each night it longs for a love it will never touch.”