Monday, January 7, 2013

Poem: Dented and Painted

I am a woman

Pricked by thorny remarks
on my girlhood, staining
my innocence with spite

Stung by the bite of leather
on my skin, trying to whip me
into submission

Choked by dreams imprisoned
in the kitchen’s stifling heat,
gasping for freedom

Disfigured by acidic attacks
seeking to silence my voice
which rises above his

And you call me dented,
like a car’s fender, when
I’m scarred all the way through?

I am a woman

Daubing myself
in the black and white
do’s and don’ts, prescribed at birth

Smearing my face
with the blues
of monotonous obedience

in the earthy brown
of a mother’s warmth

Changing my makeup
and switching roles
faster than the best of all divas

And you call me painted –
a hasty cover-up job – when
I am a mask, down to my very core?

If the Delhi rape incident revealed anything, it's that many of the people our so-called representatives, are themselves sexist pigs who can't (won't?) do anything to end the vicious cycle of male chauvinism and supremacy. My reply to one among the spate of callous remarks, courtesy Abhijeet Mukherjee (Prez Pranab's son), who commented that the women who protested at Delhi were 'dented and painted.'

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Poem: Black

My world begins
with darkness, with black!

I know not of day, of light,
My days are one endless night.

I do not see
The pity that distorts your faces
But I see it
Lace every word you speak

I do not see
Spring bursting into full bloom
But I see it
In the perfume of the breeze

I do not see
The beauty of silk and satin
But I see it
As they softly kiss my fingertips

I do not see
Love gracing my mother's features
But I see it
In the saltiness of her joyful tears
As I conquer peak after peak.

My world is darkness,
coloured black -
And I do not understand why you call it the colour of evil,
Of ignorance and shame,
For I have learnt of graduation robes:
Black cloaks of excellence,
Of knowledge and pride.

My world ends
with darkness, with black;
My eyes are thresholds
that light cannot cross,
Shut windows with
blinds drawn across.

My world begins
and ends with darkness,
And black is the colour of my light.

Written during the Kozhikode District Youth Festival English Versification contest  for the theme "Darkness". Inspired by Sanjay Leela Bhansali's movie "Black" and Helen Keller's "Three Days to See".

Also, Happy New Year, everyone! Here's to an awesome 2013!