Creaking headboards, untimely thuds and a well rehearsed female moan,
Are the sounds I wake up to;
A scurried exit of another unknown,
I hear him fixing his tie on the go and putting on his shoe.
My sense of hearing- tad too sharp, it is,
My vision nil, since birth;
Blind to the sights, amplified to words of his,
Men treating women like us as scum on earth.
Through the paper thin wall we share,
I’d hear him ask my mother, a well veiled doubt;
And as I grew some stayed to stare,
At me before they left. I’d hear mother shoo them out.
My extensive vocabulary of words that a woman may be called,
Come from these infrequent visitors who sometimes stayed the night.
The meanings, as I find out, leave me appalled,
My mother being called these, is it even right?
Her life, one day, I shall live,
This is all I’ve lived and ever known;
All of their curses and misgivings, I have to forgive,
For the small sum they pay. I have to condone.
My life starts and ends within these four walls,
Enclosing pain, abuses and obscenities hurled;
Bastard children running around playing with torn rag dolls,
And their mothers, immune to the ways of this world.
But first, I had to know what lay beyond,
These walls that trapped us in;
So one cold night, barefoot, my mother’s scarf I donned,
Excitement rising, goosebumps on my skin.
I came out all set to experience the world anew,
Hear women being treated well;
But to my shock, as I breezed through,
At everything I heard, my heart fell.
Vouch never to come back out here,
I began to run back to the place I called home till now;
It brought up in me an intense fear,
The outside world was a kaleidoscope of lies and how!
As I run, I realise I’m so fortunate a kid,
Where they treated people like my mother and me,
With approval and a price, the way they did.
But outside, freedom for women is just a blur, an illusion of safety.
Women were molested and raped in broad daylight,
Only to become the next headline;
Epitomised for a day or two, forgotten by night,
Was this really the better world? Was this really fine?
And all of this was just the beginning,
Beginning of a giant blame game;
People point fingers at the girl and blame everything,
For the rape, except the rapist. What a shame.
The motives of the people who come to us are loud and clear,
All right there in front of us. In bold.
Under a shield of false security and lurking motives here,
Women had to fear the juveniles, middle aged and the old.
Outside all happened under a veil of shame,
Behind a curtain of values so thick;
For her family wouldn’t want to ‘ruin’ her name,
So keeping quiet is the option they pick.
I reached back to where I live and I steady my pace,
Block images of the unjust outside world, of all kinds;
Whisper to myself that I’m finally home, smile on my face;
And to the outside world, I shut the blinds.