What Have We Become?

Bodies like vending machines
Ready to blurt out love poems
At the press of a single button.
Hearts full of breathing words
At the mouth of the arteries
Waiting to be pumped into the blood.
A sky full of stars
Clouded with despair
Impatient for a meteor to shower down.
We have become closed ears
Yearning for music.
Opened eyes
Yearning to be closed
We have become the remnants of
Archaic doubts
Sown with care
By orthodox fingers
Indifference and
Watered with emotional oppression.
And I sit here and wonder
Under the shades of my lies and your decisions,
my silence and your drifting.
What will we soon become? Continue reading

When the clock strikes 10!

Saket Metro Station, 9:30 pm
I am nearly 17 stations away from Vishvidyalay.

There are only two of us in the compartment.
He is sitting with his earphones plugged, calmly reading a book.
I am shaking my legs out of nervousness.

9:45 pm
He is sitting with his earphones plugged, calmly reading a book.
I am making hysterical calls.

9:55 pm
He is sitting with his earphones plugged, calmly reading a book.
I am half-sitting on my seat, my phone falling out of my hand-sweating in the ac.

10:00 pm- the death hour.
He is sitting with his earphones plugged, calmly reading a book.
I have gotten up and am walking to and fro- seat to the compartment gates-staring out in the dark.

10:05 pm
the door opens. FINALLY!
I tumble out.
He stretches his arms, gets up and walks out.

I do not rely on automated stairs and hurriedly start climbing.
I see him standing calmly on the moving escalator.

I rush out to find the last rickshaw.
I think he planned to walk.

We study in the same university and live in the university hostels which are right next to each other.
I constantly pray that the gates of the hostel are still open, his gates never close.

I have to reach by 10.
he has no curfew.

The Unerring Rapist

.You are a rapist.
does that matter?
Does it change anything at all?
You are a rapist.
but before that
you are that excellent swimmer who won twenty medals
at some international game,
An actor who has a national award to boast of
A director, a producer, a talented man
who revisited traditions
You are a popular dastangoh who has dramatically recited stories of success
on stage, on the roads, amidst applauding audiences.
You are a journalist
a well educated, ‘shareef’ man who studied at prestigious this and did prestigious that
and all these stars on your shoulders, medals on your chest, titles on your forehead, degrees in your folder,
will hide, will push back what you became- a rapist
And then it will no longer matter how, when and where you pushed me down
and violated me
in your office room,
in the gloomy streets
while teaching me
you violated me when I was enthusiastically learning, growing, partying..
Because it was the only instance where you made an ínnocent’ mistake all through your glamorous and pious existance
You are an honourable man
do you’hear your supporters scream,
do you hear them counting your accolades and testifying your holy character?
do you hear them scream out loud and reiterate,
Say it again and again till my ears pain
That you, my rapist, are an honourable man who has been nice all through his life
and has a promising future ahead
An honourable man inspite of all that you inflicted on my soul.

I am a poet, a budding one
a possibility of being the best student of my university
A story teller who had so much to share,
an extremely fierce journalist
I have won medals too
my trophies adorn my wall
I have dreams and a promising future
I am that starry eyed girl who has the potential to reach great heights
But, now, before all of this, I am the one who was raped.
Who was blamed for being an attention whore
an instigator
a provocator
an opportunist
an uneducated, poor bitch who wants fame through the case I slapped against you.

we both are writers
your stories will be remembered, my rape.
we both are actors
your characters will be remembered, my rape.
we both worked for the same magazine
your editorials will be remembered, my rape.
we both partied together
your drunkenness will be remembered, my rape.
they will talk about us in thecourts, in papers, news channels, open letters, internet
your career, glorious past, future, my rape and my rape.

And you are an honourable man, will remain so even after seven years in jail inspite of being a convicted rapist.
And I am the ‘degenerated, insulted, harassed, dishonourable woman’ who will live with this till her life’s end inspite of being the survivor.

you are what you were and what you can be,
And I will always be what I became.

Breasts, bras, bogus.

I am sharing the following story because I want big breasted women to feel confident about themselves. I want them to not slouch and spoil their postures because you have big breasts and you need to be ashamed of them. Thanks to people in my life that I have been confident about myself. Whenever I said I hate my breasts, I was told to love them and be confident about them.
This happened today in my hostel mess.

I have severe spinal chord swelling (just for the context. this fact is redundant when it comes to the point i am trying to make)

i am not supposed to wear a bra (and even if i was well, it is my choice to wear it or not)
as everyone knows the university hostels all over the country have guidelines about ‘dressing up decently’. we are not allowed to wear shorts and sleeveless clothes etc. ( I am against this policing too, being a sane human). but today all limits of this policing were crossed.

I am fat, have big breasts and am absolutely confident about my body. I have not been wearing a bra very often since the past month.
Today, after the lunch, the Hostel steward asked me to accompany her outside as she had something ‘secretive’ to talk about.
[before I continue, let me tell you that i was dressed ‘decently’ according to the repressive standards of the hostel police.-
I was wearing a baggy tshirt and pajamas. i was not wearing a bra.]
well, this is what she had to say-

” bra nhi pehne kya”
“nahi maam”
“maam, peeh mein dard hota hai”
“pehna karo”
“maam bra se bohot bimariyaan hoti hain, dard k saath saath bht restrictive bhi hoti hai…”
“ye sab nhi sunna mujhe, maine koney mein laakr isliye bola tumhe, bra nhi toh chunni pehno”
“magar bra ka concept hi bht naya hai hindustaan mein aur chunni pehenna ya na pehenna meri marzi hai”
” behes nhi krni mujhe. chalti ho toh latakta hai, hilta hai. mess dekhna hai mujhe. yahaan gents hotey hain.”

Before I could say anything else, she walked off.

Bras cause skin damage, reduce blood circulation, aggravate back pain apart from being restrictive, uncomfortable and bordering to being very painful. They cause headaches, stiff backs and shortness of breath. Infact, in india,many women in rural areas still donot wear bras.

which century am I living in that i am being asked to wear a chunni? ( when I am already wearing clothes to cover my breasts and thereby being ‘decent’ according to hollow standards)

Weren’t the universities supposed to be places where girls transformed into confident, sensitive women who were happy with their bodies?
Till when will we keep changing just for the male gaze?
Till when will I have to make sure that my breasts are firmed up and ‘put in place’?
should I care more about my education and food or what the male gaze desires?

i am asking for no liberation or freedom here. it is my right, not as a woman, but more as a human to wear what I want to and this policing will not be tolerated.

Stop sexualising my face, hair, waist, breasts, thighs, arms, skin tone, toe nails…
I will not take it. nor should anyone else.

I will stand up against it. I will eat, walk and breathe without wearing a bra as and when i want.

ajeeb nautanki hai samaaj ki, bra na pehno toh pareshaani aur agar pehno toh strap dikhne se pareshani, nipples pata chalne se pareshani, safed kurte pr kaali bra pehenne se pareshani. Kya hai kya bhayii? We have to care more about visible bra straps than about the next book we are going to read.

let us stand up against this policing.
Bra ka ‪#‎Pinjratod‬

That Red Love.




When intertwined
In desire, in love
From within the soul
Like bubbles bursting

Between the flesh and the skin
You are there,

But for 'God's' sake,
Wasn't I told to be ashamed
Of my body
My being?

Of all that comes out of it
And all which goes in it
Wasn't I to 'whisper'
And 'stayfree'

During certain days of the month?
Were you not hugged by your mother
And told, "it'll all be fine"
When it all started.

Wasn't I supposed to follow
Verse 222 of Chapter 2
Of the Holy Quran?
Wasn't I unclean?
Lesser in belief?

Because I bled

Every month. Again and again
Every month for 'those' days
I was just blood.

For the other days, just flesh. Continue reading ...