Feminism

Feminism

Feminism is the radical notion that women are people , said someone famous. That sums up feminism better than any long winded defin...

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Vertigo

I take a step, I lurch forward.
I walk down the stairs
old fears crowd my mind ;
chasing away all other thoughts
 save the one:
I'll fall, I'm about to fall.

Walk along the ledge,
looking down at the traffic,
the cars rushing past.
Lights blurred, yet streets alight.

Tiny liliputian people
who seem to crawl;
pretend to go on living,
dead souls,
of dead people walking home
in a dead city,
but calls itself the city of joy.

Dare myself to take the leap,
take the ever promised fall,
a split second, a fraction,
I stand towering before the horizon;

The earth rises up to meet me,
into its stern embrace I rush,
This heady, inexplicable sensation-
this is all there is to it,
nothing can beat me in this race!


 I let go so utterly-
the pain unendurable,
the humiliation, the malady,
the unsourced melancholy
 the torment that sears through limb and nerve
and in it path dissolves all hope
all reason for existence.



Friday, 18 April 2014

Woman is Me

Don't tell me to tone down my voice,
Raise your roofs, instead, to the heavens.
My thighs aren't toned but thunderous,
they are so, I know, for a reason.
My tummy isn't flat, it bulges
From a womb that carried, expanded.

I am who I am, not tame, nor lame,
Don't condemn me,
nor do I need to be adored.
I am no goddess,nor whore,
I am just a woman,
Give me my due, leave me alone.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Silken Threads

The centre that is me
no more holds
I'm unraveling
its plain to behold.
Bit by bit,
strips of me
peel away,
A shell remains.

My feet tied
in the silken threads
of your laugh
I stumble,I fall
Headlong I plunge,
Into the bottomless well
Overtaken by my nemesis
Desire.

The well of fire consumes me,
I am overcome,
I drown in its asphyxiated embrace
Limbs flailing,
I cannot come up for air.

My surrender is complete
My pleasure deranged.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Scream

I'm small,
I don't matter.
I'm neglegible.

I am earnest,
I implore

So I'm easily ignored.

You hold views, you argue,
You analyze and deduce.
I go by gut feelings,
Is that why 

my words hold no meaning?

I'm emotional, you tell me,
while the world is full of grey.
I fail to see nuance,
when all too often 

I'm marked as prey.

You organize battles, 

You fight wars,
Arrange your cannons and
Strategize from afar.
I, meanwhile can only attempt,
the odd hit-and-run.

I'll go by my instincts,
and I'd rather shout;
you may choose
to call my views monochromatic
and loud.

Its a battle to survive
and I have nowhere to hide;
instead, i'll go down screaming.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Does a Rapist Deserve Compassion?


Imagine you are a rapist. Yes, tough even to imagine yourself as one, right? Just stay with the thought, please. Instead, let's ask what happened on your journey- what made you feel compelled to violate the dignity of another human, invade his/her bodily integrity?

Somewhere, somebody failed you: your parents, teachers or the other structures of society. Or maybe, each played a little part. Somehow, the natural emotion of empathy, the human ability to feel another's pain, was slowly killed in you.

 It did not happen overnight. The process was most likely gradual. Regardless, as an adult, you are going to be held responsible for your actions.

Let's assume the law catches up with you. You have broken the law and the rules of society. At the end of the long drawn due process you are sentenced to incarceration. This incarceration could be for many reasons. It could be punishments for your actions. Or it could be to protect the public from you. It could be meant as a deterrent for the future or it could give you an opportunity at rehabilitation. It could even be a combination of these. 

In any case your incarceration is a segregation from society
prison is punishment, a systematic deprivation of the liberty of the individual, which is otherwise guaranteed to every citizen of the nation state.

However, it is the deprivation of liberty that should be the punishment, not the nature of the regime.

In India  talk about treatment of convicted rapists has invariably been around "deterrence", "revenge" and "exemplary punishment". This has gained much more currency after the 16th  December 2012 rape case. There is almost no mention of rehabilitation. 

So is it our contention that a man who commits a crime is to be condemned for life? Is there to be no redemption for such a convict? 


Let's assume you committed a rape and now you are in prison. Given that the more-connected in India get away with crime, you are probably uneducated, or barely literate, and have seen the worst of society. And now you are sent to the place which is a crawling with the dregs of society. People who really do not have much to look forward to in life.

It is my argument that a just and humane society should expect to redeem men like you. It might sound idealistic. Especially with our mindsets today. If our institutions are supposed to be  a reflection of us, as a people, then surely our prison system is a shameful proof of our sub human instincts?

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind" may be a credo we don't want to follow anymore. But we come pretty close to it with our prison conditions, don't we? 

Dehumanising conditions in our prisons are a violation of basic human rights of the convict. Yes, he had done something appalling, but he is human  and he does have rights.

Upon his release, we expect a prisoner to show compassion for others and abide by the law. Yet, if neither society, nor the law, show him any compassion ourselves, how do we expect him to reciprocate?

Unless we think that a person once convicted is to remain behind bars for the rest of his life- and that is what a life term may mean to many_ we must look for ways to enable every convict a chance at redemption. To a life after prison. He must be afforded every chance to redeem himself, not just to others, but in his own self and return as a constructive, productive member of society.
Only if we invest in sympathy for the lowliest, most craven members of our community, can we hope for it to be reciprocated.
Do we have it in ourselves to display compassion for every member of our community? Are we ready for it? 

( P.S. The whole exercise of getting you to imagine yourself as a rapist was to induce empathy, the feeling of walking in another's shoes. A basic human quality, fast receding from our common psyche.)

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Older

The veins on my arms
like the cobwebs of a hundred spiders
left behind by receding time.

The wrinkles on my face:
the dunes of sand
carved out by the tides.

Moments pass, turn into eternity.
I age, turn into my mother;
pain amplifies in my limbs
then turns sublime.

The mind sharpens its claws
Blurs the lines
I'm a little girl in your presence
At others, a goddess divine.

The misery becomes companiable,
like a long lost friend,
met after a span of time.
who understands my mind.

The fag end stretches before me beckons, and I walk
homeward bound.
Memories mingle with hope.

"Over-the-hill,
past my prime" I may be told,
But the mind plays tricks.
It claims, I'll be fine,
I will trump time.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Self Loathing

Scrape off the epidermis,
peel off the layers of skin.
Expose the nerves,
each standing on edge.

Bile rising slowly
to the base of my throat
Loathing, my friend,
How we've grown close !

Whip this carcass,
till it's welted.
Raise the heat,
till it dwindles away.

Pour scalding hot oil,
into every wrinkle.
Let the flesh shrivel,
fall off, curl away,
expose the core.

Incandescent, fragile,
transluscent but visible.
Take away this soul,
let this being be tamed.

The muscles, in pain, writhe;
Sear the sinews,
Putrifying and dying away,
Maggot infested whole.

Consume myself in hate,
Loathe my very being.
From my own soul, recoil,
So I may hate you too.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Last Night


The moon in slow dance with the clouds,
the sonata that sighs through the grass.

The cry of the peacock silences
my heart
that tattoos your name into space.

The wind trills into my nerves,
one beat at a time,
my frenzied body silenced by the soothing rhythms.

On my tongue the symphony of your name.
All fades save the rhyme of you.