“Pastel”

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Yes, I love him like pastel,
my pastel blue bucket bag.
Carry his heart on the edge of my sleeve
as though it is a childhood locket,
still holding my picture naked.

But there have been days,
dark, sinful days..
Days when sweet memories would fade out,
leaving behind the ghost of a man
haunting, dancing
on the delicate tight rope
between what was meant to be
and what should truly be.

Yes, I still love him like pastel,
my pastel blue bucket bag.
But nothing remains now,
So finally I pray…
“Oh Lord
when you
give me
my due,
Will you paint
my soul
in  pastel blue…. ?”

“Hoping to taste Marlboros someday, she smiles.”

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Smoke drifts up and up,
As cigarettes sweep into her lungs
perfectly in sync with her heavy breathing…
From the end of the slim white stick
Residual ashes fall, cold and powdered.
She can hear it singe- the paper burning;
She can feel the thing- a beautiful sadness inside her soothing;
Almost done now.
The empty filter of tar burns and comforts her life’s lies….
Hoping to taste Marlboros someday, she smiles.

 

“When She Fell in Love with His Lavani Dance.. “

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Note: This piece is inspired from Lavani. Lavani means “beauty” and is a folk dance of India performed by Women, on the beats of “Dholki”. It is mostly performed in the states of Maharashtra, North Karnataka, and southern Madhya Pradesh. In our society it is believed that Men should not perform Lavani and those who do, are judged and insulted by the society or are considered effeminate. But here I want to question that what if someone is effeminate..? Who are you to judge..? Also, I feel art is beyond all these binaries created by our society. Therefore I wrote this piece as a form of awareness for humanity and also to portray the sad picture of our society..

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She often saw him dance.
Away from the world,
Under the gulmohars..
Felt as if he was in a beautiful trance..
And in that divine moment
She fell in love with his Lavani dance..

She was scared..
But that day she dared,
“You stole my heart and never gave it back.
Now can you give me a forever..?
We will be together,
And I will watch you dance..”

He kissed her hard.
And like the blooms of a scorching Indian summer
Their hearts bloomed with love.
That scorching Indian summer – a tale of their desires so pure and naive.

The aftermath was a fairytale.
They walked hand in hand
But their love was not “normal”
People would tell.

She told him to shed his insecurities and reveal himself more…
But people had their own judgements and they were sore.
“Stop your effeminate dancing, its queer.
Wash that red off your feet before you come near..”

He payed no heed,
Danced to the rythm of her heartbeat.
But then the line got crossed
And she was the one who was cursed the most..
“He will never be a husband, will offer nothing much,
Better leave this society with your shameless trans..”

Her insult finally ceased his alta clad feet.
His smile grew dimmer,
Her sorrow sang its own woeful bit.

But soon he extinguished the final flame.
And she could only scream holding his dead frame,
“You took your life like sometimes lovers do
But I want to tell you my love,
This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you…”

Now this is the story, Dear Straight people.
She dared to love unconditionally
And she was one of you.
And there was a time….
A time when they walked hand in hand,
When she fell in love with his Lavani dance.

“What if I am another Shikhandi?”

Note : I wanted to write something on LGBTQ and therefore thought would take inspiration from India’s greatest Epic Mahabharata. But in order to make sure that everyone understands this piece it is important to know about ‘Shikhandi’.

Decades have crossed, but the winds still whisper the name of Shikhandi. In Mahabharata, Shikhandi was not a glorious character like Pitamaha Bheeshma who was a symbol of sacrifice, Warrior Karna who always was a tragic hero, third Pandava Arjuna, the devotee of lord Krishna and the ultimate winner. But if the success means proving identity; then it can go through various ways and Shikhandi was one of the successful endemics in Mahabharata. Shikhandi was born a woman. But the Rishis told King Draupada, who was the father of Shikhandi, that she would one day become a man and aquire a male body. Though born a female, Shikhandi was raised as a son and was taught warfare and statecraft. She was even given a wife. And it is believed that finally Shikhandi met a Yaksha called Sthunakarna and was able to aquire his manhood. So there has always been a doubt about Shikhandi’s true identity and hence has been considered a transgender.. My today’s piece is inspired by this story of Shikhandi.

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What if I am another Shikhandi….?”

End this discrimination, it hurts.
I too am Lord’s creation,
made of flesh, blood and a heart.
A disgrace to humanity ; some say I am cursed.
I think they forgot,
The same female womb- source of my birth.

Mindless youngsters mock and laugh
and play their guessing games as I walk.
“Lumps or balls? or none of the two?”
I want to ask, “what if both? what would you do?”

A form I want to fill,
But which box do I tick?
Grown sick of all these,
wish my mother had taken a pill.

Existing without any identity I lost my Self,
Woolf’s Sublime Meditation on Gender did no help.
Now to all the wise men I tell;
“Look in-between the binaries,
and go back on history.
What if I am another Shikhandi….?”

 

“A Raped Soul.”

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Photo Credits – Madhurjya Borah

 

 

Once upon a time, there lived a little boy.
He said he was scared..
And uncertain of his existence.
Wait..
Wait a second,
Can you hear his voice..?

“Can you hear my voice..?
I can still hear mine.
The way I cried STOP….
But he said, ‘Shh….’
And I made no noise.

He touched me..
Said he loved me.
It pained,
I restrained.
But then he hit me, ripped my shirt..
Pushed himself in, to a point where it hurt.
Absurd
Unreal
The power he had over my body and heart…

I see children being loved…
Loved by their parents.
But can I understand that word called LOVE..?
I guess my Father shoved the wrong definition between my thighs.
I was eight
My mind, terrorized.

Now, dirty from malice
I have a body – disgraced.
My soul – raped. ”

 

“Let Loose..”

 

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Oh Victoria, your secret hurts.

But she has to keep.
‘Keep what…? The secret…?’
Yes… And the pain.

She wants to let loose.
Let loose her hair…
Go braless.
But they call it shame.

‘Push up now..’ they say.
There are worms inside your skin.
Let the wire of the cups dig inside your flesh.
But she is scared.
‘What if the catterpillars turn into butterflies…
and die in a day..?’

They are least bothered.

Bras offend.
So do your curves.
And you know what? So does a flat chest.
So layer them up.

‘What? You can’t breath easy..?’
Because you are not supposed to.
Has history taught you nothing…?

 

“A Pious Disgrace”

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“It is that time of the month” they say and shrink back…
Is it the time to smell the iron and the shame between my legs..?
Or
Is this a gift of Innana that courses through me?

I hear them whispering, gossiping.
And those warnings,
they never stop coming;
“Watch out for your daughter, it is that time of the month… ”
The flow might wake up my hoe soul.
They worry.
And what if I spread my legs?
Sin? Yes… unforgivable, Sin.

I too worry.. But our worries differ.
As I continue to shed my insides, I worry…
“How they never noticed the cry of my body ?
How they never acknowledged
that life comes from between our legs,
that life costs blood…… ”

Such hypocrisy… astounding.
When humane they despise.
When idols they worship.
A pious disgrace, my existence.

“THE PROSTITUTE”

Trapped amidst those famous red light streets,                                             Cigarettes and cocaine became her only sweets.

Dirty looks ,dirty talks, a daily affair. Different sizes, part of her business not so rare.

She satisfies each one of them,
adorning a body bargained since eighteen.
Goes down on her knees now and then,
a part of her high paid routine.

Humanity resents her- a dirty whore.
Only money, she expects nothing more.
Between the self-inflicted wounds her days pass.
Fifty and still a woman without class.

Aged and now grown weak,
They say she is no more a tight grip.
Still some thrust her hard and deep,
Free condoms her only tip.

Many loathe her,even her name,
For she is not a part of their fame..
Happy she is, in her solitude,
Yes, she is the prostitute.