Of Life, Living, and Rethinking

Poet – Anushna Jha 




When she came into this world


She was cursed, her family blamed their stars


The atmosphere was that of gloom, not joy


The day was one of mourning, not celebration


Her mother silently prayed that she remained healthy


And then prayed along with her family that it should be a boy next time.


When she started speaking


  

She was taught that her voice shouldn’t go out of the four walls


She was told girls don’t laugh aloud


Her brother was told boys don’t cry aloud


She was told to learn to obey


He was told to learn to command.


When she wanted to go out and play


She was told that with her lay the respect of her house, that must stay within the threshold

  


She was taken to the kitchen, not to the classroom


She was taught how to clean, not to write


She was taught the values of sacrifice, politeness, and respect


Her brother was taught to imbibe valour, strength, and authority.


When she was made to succumb to the lewd fancies of that man


She was asked to shut up and forget


She was warned not to mention about it to anyone


She was told she’d lost her face, her honor, her respect

  


She silently asked, “When did I have honor and respect?”


She was physically viled by that man, but emotionally stripped off by her own family.


When she was forcibly made to take those seven rounds around the fire


She was basically gotten rid off, with a heavy price 


She was sent to what they told her was her new home


If only they could realize that she had never ever felt ‘at home’ since she was born


She was told to take responsibility of the family that was now hers


Which essentially meant to cook, wash, care, and satiate the desires of her husband.


When she was tortured for more dowry


She was made to go back to her parents’ and ask them for money


She was sent to the jewelers and sell her gold for cash


After all this too, she was inflicted with multiple injuries on her body, soul, and mind


She was called by names she despised


She was cursed for reasons anonymous, yet well-known.


When she sold into prostitution by her husband

  

She was devoid of any feelings or emotions


She was saturated in every was she could be


She was pained enough and exhausted


She was done with her life


And this saw the end of that tormented, humiliated, oppressed woman.



  


What did this look like?


A story of an aggrieved woman? A narrative of a ‘bechari aurat’?


Or


A story of a gradual death of humanity? A narrative of poor socialization?


Before this woman ceased to breathe, she wrote a new chapter of her life


She fought the forces of domination and tyranny


She raised her voice, loud enough to be heard


She demanded equality, and commanded respect


She met suppression with determination


She responded to chauvinism with rationality


 And she succeeded, she won, she triumphed


Because in the hundred deaths they gave her, she sought her own life.


  

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s