Tag: women

woman.

you forget that i am a woman. you think i am as soft as water and yet, i am what extinguishes your fire. 

some powerful women my friends and i look up to:)

i am a woman. you think i am as soft as water and yet, i am in the girl you gave justice to 8 years late. i am in the girl you cremated to hide the evil that runs through your veins. the evil you mask behind delayed hearings and careless police work. the evil that makes your blood boil like fire. i am in the wife you slap after she drops the glass you should have filled yourself. i am in the girl you call pataaka when she cycles by. the girl you say shouldn’t have been outside her house so late when you’re the one who should be locked inside a cell forever. i am in the girl you sexualize on the screen. the girl who you dress in clothes as short as possible because the tickets wouldn’t sell without zoom-ins on her naked waist. i am in the daughter you cover up. to who you teach that by being female, she is at fault. to who you teach that her body is nothing but a distraction for men, when you shouldn’t have been looking in the first place. i am in the mother who sacrificed her entire life for you. the mother who repressed her dreams to raise you well. the mother you disappoint every time you look at the girls on streets with the same fire that boils in your blood.

but you think i am the water in the lotus flower. the water that helps it grow, but disappears into the air right after. you think i am the buttons on your office shirts. always trying to hold it all together. being replaced every time one falls off. you think i am the leaves of autumn. losing colour as soon as the weather changes. falling to the ground, fragile. you think i am the alcohol that lets you loose. the alcohol you blame for the things you do after the city falls asleep. you think i am a pushover. a woman who does whatever floats your boat. a woman who carries all your baggage for you like a river carries salts. but you forget. you forget that i am a woman. you think i am as soft as water and yet, i am what extinguishes your fire. 

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.

Feminism in the modern era.

In honour of women’s day, here’s a little something.

Women’s day. An occasion to celebrate women, and how far they’ve come. After several struggles, protest and strikes and loads of hard work – women have reached where they are today, and it still is nowhere equal to where men are. They might be getting the same jobs as men, but not the same salary. They might be getting the same rights as men, but not the same respect. They might be getting the same security as men, but are they really safe? Some say that it is due to the under development of the country, and the socio – economic problems which have caused women to be uneducated or poor. Yet, America being one of the most developed and wealthy countries – still chose to elect a misogynistic, and sexist orange faced president instead of electing their first female president. Coming back to India. Although, there are numerous cases of violence against women which are filed in our country, everyday – we as a society are slowly and gradually beginning to accept the fact that gender discrimination is a real thing, and that women rights are human rights. Feminism as a concept has really begun to gain popularity in the past few years. Yet some people have misunderstood that feminists are people who are against men, and want special rights for women but that is the exact opposite of who they are. Feminism is the belief that every female should be provided with the same privileges and rights as any other person, and not just legally. Society needs to accept them and believe in their capabilities. Above all, females need to believe in each other if no one else does.
Earlier, women weren’t as aware of their rights and were to afraid to speak up. Afraid of how society would judge them, afraid of how they would be treated afterwards, afraid of what people would think of them. But, it isn’t what people think which matters – it’s what we think of ourselves. Since birth, women have been taught shame. They have been taught to cover themselves up and they have been taught that by being female, they are at fault. They have been suppressed by their own people for so long, that they have lost faith in themselves. Our owns society starts mistreating them as soon as they enter this world. They pray to goddesses in temples, but abuse women in the domestic sphere. They elect women to powerful political offices, yet mistreat young girls in public, and what’s worse is that people are still pretending like it isn’t happening.
However, in this modern era of feminism, movements and protests like the #MeToo movement have helped them find their voice. They say it’s a scary time for men but if you aren’t someone who harasses women, then why is it scary? It is this mentality that we need to change. That women are trying to overpower men, because that is the exact opposite of what they are trying to do.
I don’t know if you all are aware of this, but recently a 620 km long women’s wall was formed in kerala. It was formed in hopes to protest against the Sabrimala controversy, and gender equality in general. This is a clear example of what women are trying to do – which is empower another, so many women still fear speaking out, and talking about how they’ve suffered for so long. Until we get to a state where each and every woman is bold and confident enough to share their story, and to share what they stand for – we haven’t achieved gender equality.

To all the women out there, it’s your day – treat yourself. You are one of a kind, man.