Tag: death

nirbhaya (adj.) the fearless one.

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,
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.

p.s: she actually did scribble that note.

Here Am I.

“The only way to get over a death is by seeing it as a life completed, instead of a life interrupted.”

~anonymous

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. 

597th night.

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. 

A Glass Of Rose.

But those roots below your heart,
Will wrap around my neck,
Crush my throat,
Burning it more than this glass of rose ever could.

alcohol is a sin.
With a glass of rose in my hand
And a raw cigarette in the other
Tonight I gaze at the front door
In an uncomfortably comfortable silence
And wait for you to come home 
And I seem to have lost count of how many times I’ve landed here
Sitting on the chestnut brown stairs
The same shade as your locks and mine
The ones you parted in the middle,
And flaunted your distinct bald line, 
I imagine you coming through that door
Any minute, any second
Shouting you’re back  
hoping I’m not up
For sleep doesn’t come,
Without you by my side anymore,
Ironically my toxic habits now,
Are why you’re lying within four white walls, 
Nevertheless, 
This glass is my way to cope,
And sometimes my mind drifts to the possible future,
And my throbbing head in your lap,
But those roots below your heart,
Will wrap around my neck,
Crush my throat,
Burning it more than this glass of rose ever could,
And yet I’ll lay there,
Choking, 
Gasping, 
Over and gone will be the wait,
For you’ll finally be here,
But all that pain makes me wonder,
That maybe,
Just maybe,
This time for me,
It will be too late.

- 'i'm sorry but his liver is too damaged to save.'

Religion: the way to peace and destruction.

The Rohingyas have been protesting and rebelling for years now, however their rights are nowhere to equal to the rest of the citizens even though they have been living in Myanmar and calling it their home for longer than one can imagine. Yet, the government is intolerant of who they are as a community. For them worshipping a different God has become a bigger crime than murder, theft, and rape itself. 

Intolerance is defined as unwillingness to let other people act in a different way or hold different opinions from you. Basically, intolerance is being close minded towards accepting diverse views or beliefs. We see and sometimes even experience it in various forms today. It could be with gender, or racial, or even ethnic. The point being that it doesn’t matter which category two people are different. What matters is that at the end of the day, we are always different in some way or the other and until we find a way to accept that, we won’t be able to achieve well, tolerance. 
One of the biggest and perhaps most talked about intolerances in the world today, is religious intolerance. Whether you’re part of a majority or a minority, discrimination is prevalent everywhere. Maybe some communities experience it less and some more but that doesn’t make it okay in any way. 

Case study – The Rohingya Muslims 

The Rohingya Muslims are one of the main ethnic minorities in Myanmar but Myanmar, being a buddhist country doesn’t recognize them as citizens of the country and terms them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. There has always been a tension between the two communities and before August 2017, there were already around 307,500 Rohingya refugees living in camps, makeshift settlements and with host communities. A further 687,000 were  estimated to have arrived since August 2017. At least 6,700 Rohingya, were killed in the month after the violence broke out. The Myanmar military also raped and abused women and girls. The Rohingya refugees spread over to countries like Bangladesh and India. Unfortunately, even after settling in camps in Bangladesh, the amount of difficulties didn’t end. The monsoon rains shattered their camps, and forced them to build their homes once again. Young girls were sexually assaulted and beaten which left them traumatized. Basic sanitation itself was hard to find in those camps. 
This kind of war time violence seems inevitable but is caused only because some communities have faiths and religious beliefs which differ from other communities. The groups with majority believe that by spreading terror, they’ll be able to control the minorities and live in harmony but they fail to understand that violence is never the way to achieve something as vulnerable as peace. The Rohingyas have been protesting and rebelling for years now, however their rights are nowhere to equal to the rest of the citizens even though they have been living in Myanmar and calling it their home for longer than one can imagine. Yet, the government is intolerant of who they are as a community. For them worshipping a different God has become a bigger crime than murder, theft, and rape itself. 

Although we read about this kind of brutal violence everyday in newspapers; hear about it on the radio; even write about it angrily on social media platforms, we fail to understand that it is acceptance they require from us and not anger. Religious intolerance is not something we can put as one of the sustainable goals for us to achieve by 2030. For it is something we aim to achieve in the process of fulfilling other goals such as peace and strong institutions or even reduced inequalities. Religion is something we have created, and it is not something that we can fix through programmes or treaties. It comes from within us. World peace will come when acceptance and tolerance is achieved. When we finally begin to understand that to attain world peace, all of us don’t need to have the same beliefs or views. We can worship several gods, be of various colours, and love different genders, yet still live in harmony. After all, we are the ones who are going to stay with each other even if the world falls apart.

Intolerance is the most socially acceptable form of egotism, for it permits us to assume superiority without personal boasting.

~Sydney J. Harris

Mahabharat and Bharat

 They say Mahabharat and Bharat aren’t the same,
Yet husbands still seemingly own their wives,
Yudhistra gambled Draupadi away,
Marital rape is still legal,
For law doesn’t care about a wife’s say. 

They say Mahabharat and Bharat aren’t the same,
Yet women are still touched,
Like their bodies are pieces of fabric,
Just like when Dushasan touched Draupadi,
Sanji Ram touched Asifa,
And Mukesh touched Jyoti.

They say Mahabharat and Bharat aren’t the same,
Mariyam screams 
‘Talaaq, Talaaq, Talaaq’
Farooq laughs,
Another woman moves in the next day. 

It’s 2019,
And Draupadi is still considered a victim,
Not an empress,
For even now,
Being an assault survivor is considered a shame,
So tell me how Mahabharat and Bharat aren’t the same.
Ladies, we flawless. Even Beyonce agrees.

Colours

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.

Flawed.

I guess that maybe, I’m not the only flawed one here. For we are more alike, than we are unlike.

I stared at the person in the mirror. The person was me, but also not me. Messy hair, face filled with acne, too thin, big nose, I had so many flaws. I tried to remind myself that looks do not define who I am but oh well, society thinks they do. It’s as if society tells us to be who we are but in a certain way. The way I look doesn’t fit their beauty standards. My hair is a part of me that I’ve always despised. My eyes too. They are two things that I think are my most flawed physical traits. My eyes are too big and dark, and I have absolutely no eyelashes. My hair is always too curly and messy, and a little too dark. My sister stands beside me, at least two inches taller. I’ve always adored her hair, straight and blonde. I continue staring at my reflection, it’s a new habit I’ve developed. Its as if I judge myself so that others don’t have to. After glaring at myself for five minutes, something hits me. It’s quite obvious but I’ve never realized it before. My eyes and my hair; two things that I hate, are the exact same colour. They are both dark brown. I stare at my huge eyes, and then at my long hair, and then my eyes, and then my hair and so on. Without realizing I say it out aloud –
“My eyes and my hair are the same colour, ugh I hate them so much.”
My sister faintly chuckles and says
“You know, this is how we humans are. We judge each other and only spot our flaws. We fail to notice the one thing that brings us together. That is, how alike we are. In one way or another, no matter how diverse and flawed we all are, at the end we’re still human. It’s one similarity no one can change or take away from us. Sometimes we just get too busy hating on others and talking about their flaws that we forget how similar we are. Humanity brings us all together. For there is unity in diversity. I hope you know sister, that no matter how much you may despise your flaws, they still are what make us all alike.”
I don’t show it, but I am deeply affected by what my sister just said. I guess we all will always be the same no matter what. I guess that maybe, I’m not the only flawed one here. For we are more alike, than we are unlike.

Thank you for being here today. Thank you for not giving up. I love you.

Where the wild things are.

An entirely fictional, but at the same time – real short story.

I catch a last glimpse of my home and my city – Copenhagen, once so stunning and lively, now in ruins and lifeless. I then take a deep breath. Say goodbye to my home and enter the underground tunnel. I run to wherever the tunnel takes me. Hopefully, where the wild things are.

I can feel it coming. It begins with the clouds whispering within themselves, whispers which lead to aggressive arguments. It can strike any moment. Maybe after every three seconds, maybe ten or even thirty. It’s like the future; impossible to predict. And then it does strike, a flash of brightness in the sky which is as dark as a coal miner’s handkerchief. Throughout, the wind screams rather than howling. It’s uncontrollable and powerful enough to turn grasses into seas. The gusty wind blows through my hair, touches my skin and soul, makes me feel alive, like I’ve never felt before. It is wild and free, something I wish to become one day. The clouds continue to argue. Their anger boils and it seems like they’re about to burst any second, and then they do.

A shower of tears; rain. The rain washes the world, and brings a sense of calmness to me, which can never be found elsewhere. The pitter – patter sound is soothing, unlike the frightening thunder. This storm has come out of nowhere, without any warning, just like the soldiers. The storm will go but, the soldiers won’t. War is coming. I have to escape, I have to go through the storm. They say that “when you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in”. Well that’s how storm and war are similar. In was we find out who we are and how strong we can become. Soldiers are all around, they have stopped us from roaming around in our own home. I see them, screaming and pushing everybody into their homes. The tall, fair, muscular man shouts something to the others in German, and so it begins. Rifles are pulled, and firing starts. Anybody who tries to rebel or argue with them is shot straight to the heart. The scene is horrifying. How can a human be so cruel to another human. All of the soldiers look deadly and scary. I take a brief glance at all the bodies lying on the ground; lifeless. I see women, men, children; crying. Some sobbing for the loss of their loved ones, and some crying for just everything happening to them – getting tortured for being Jewish and getting trapped in their own country isn’t exactly a delightful experience.

I can already imagine what the days ahead are going to be filled with – food shortages, no electricity, curfew. We’re stuck in between a war, and this wasn’t our choice. I feel bad for leaving the people of my city behind, I wish I could save them, but as they say “During war, only you can save yourself.” I catch a last glimpse of my home and my city – Copenhagen, once so stunning and lively, now in ruins and lifeless. I then take a deep breath. Say goodbye to my home and enter the underground tunnel. I run to wherever it takes me. Hopefully, where the wild things are.

Penguins for the win. I really appreciate you, man. You are fearless, and strong. Don’t doubt yourself, and get that smile back on your face while reading this.