Religion: What binds me?

Poet- Maanvi Agarwal

I dreaded it, the moment I left behind,
it whined behind me, a horrible bitter cry.
I refused to look back, but as if some strings attached,
I was subtly beckoned back to it.

It was a nightmare, I say!
Spending days and nights, going over the same thing,
and then finally finding the strength to cut the misery
after ten long lifetimes.


You must know, it was potent,
it was euphoric, this feeling of dependence.
I could cry and die, or laugh and kill
and I just had to offer my heart in exchange.

Karma, what’s that?
I know that I will be pitied whether I am successful or not.
The thirst I feel can be quenched by shallow potions.
I have deluded myself long enough; it’s time to go back.

I was pelted with stones, when I got into a cross-fire
about its existence.
The crowd of sweaty, painted bodies mocked me and insulted me
so I bowed down, in their reverence.


When I had worn down ‘grace’
by rubbing it everyday on the bracketed post,
I could feel the blood spurting out of my veins.
‘Bless that man!’ he took me to the hospital.

Apart from the usual discussion
involving importance of suicide, sacrifice, and selflessness,
my culture also breeded into me a conscience,
to keep calm and to follow ‘ram!’

“Jejji, they call your man a lord,
which province has he ruled upon”?
She told me he ruled her life, like gods did.
“Huh? Do gods rule their wives”?

I had once shit on a public toilet’s wall.
I was the first one, and next day others had followed.
A man called himself the advocate of god,
ten days later a procession had followed.


“Which dharma do you follow child”?
“Chacha, I follow none.”
“Ah, I heard them selling something like that in the old-shoe market. Is it cheap?”
“It doesn’t have a price.”

I am severing all contacts with you,
you can cry in vain or scold me in displeasure
but you must also know that it won’t ever be the same.
You are not a creation,
but imitation of my insecurities and my fears.
You have made a profitable amount with my acquiescence,
it will lead you through your period of degradation.
Don’t call back upon me, I will drown you otherwise.

It calls me back, I dread it again.


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