Over the Threshold

You had me cover my eyes as we crossed
the threshold to your home,
Oh, I always forget that it’s now ‘our’ home.
It never felt like mine, you know? It rather
felt as if I was on a display, there for every
one to see, and my vision snatched away
from me by a cloth around my eyes.
I never knew what it was to be impaired,
growing up despising control. I
couldn’t live like that, you know?
Bound by chains so strong they couldn’t
be visible to the naked eye. But, they were
there. Unseen,
but there. On display for everyone to see.
I struggled to get rid of them.
Those cuffs around my wrists were
suffocating, chafing skin and veins,
binding me to you even more.
Tried hard to make people realise how I was living in a cage.
I was a bird with my wings cut off;
The people around me were blind, and
maybe even dumb and deaf, because
none of them ever raised their voices for me, the noise of gossip was decibels much higher than my pleas.
My scars were visible, even the band aid couldn’t fix them.
Permanence was temporary, just like the
marks around my eyes and the scars
covering my wrists, beneath,
there was me,
freed.

●●●●●●

My very first collaboration with Saloni Mhapsekar.

Art by: Saloni Mhapsekar. (Check her out on Instagram, @saloniquietlybrilliant )

 

Pukaar

I see you taking off your belt,
removing it from the shackles of your trousers
wearing a scary look on your face,
ready to lash at me with it.
Only because my words stung you, right?

But aren’t there too many of us?
So many, that even if your belts are torn and ripped,
we’ll stay, bleeding, but words unwavering.

You then take away my paper,
Make me work longer, harder.
Pointing empty drafts and bills at my head,
forcing me to survive on water,
stirring empty pots and drinking from empty pitchers.

You took away my land,
you have almost taken away my religion too.
You want me to follow you, don’t you?

When your bullets were piercing through the
bodies of my mates, children, wives,
where was your religion?
Was it not there, looming in the depths and shadows
of your dark, merciless eyes?

How could you not feel, the slightest bit of apprehension
when you so casually made slits into our uniformity;
dividing us, forming castes, breaking unity?

And while we are at it, let’s not forget
the inter-caste wars, love, marriages,
killings, when the father saw to it that
his daughter was burnt to death, along with her lover?

You also took away opportunities,
chances from my offspring, making them
redundant, unable to go out into the world,
stealing their pages, pens, ink.
What would they know of the world,
when they didn’t know how to read and write?

Your corrupted mind,
pulling money out of my pockets,
not admitting my child in your schools
and colleges without an opaque donation,
a transparent bribery.

I’m home, waiting for your call,
the acceptance letter in your hands,
lies unhanded to me,
your lame excuses, poor reasoning,
I’m fed up of it all.

And then you look into my eyes,
emotional against emotionless.
Which one’s are yours, which are mine?
After all you have done,
How do you expect sentiment to be in mine?