Speak up India – A tribute to sexual assault victims

A burning shame spirals downwards
Into the bloodstream of this nation.
Racing through, so thick
The heart melts into suffocation.

How long before we asphyxiate
And give in to the brutality?
How long before the struggle wears us out
and our indignation turns into passivity?

How long before we become
Just another number in your damned statistics ?
Another scream choked into silence.
Another pair of frantic eyes faded into void.
Another forlorn soul.
Bruised. Ripped. Killed. Buried.

While you fight over your trifling politics
And your god forsaken religions.
So exploited in their names,
Your Gods abandoned a long time ago,
Grieving over the monstrosity they birthed.

How do you not drown ?
Under the wailing cries of the innocents.
How do you not choke yourself ?
While smothering humanity with your own bare hands.
How do you go on living , remorseless?
With so much blood splattered
All over your conscience.


Dedicated to :
6 year old from Haryana,
8 year old from Kathua
11 year old from Surat
17 year old from Unnao
And countless others who have endured some form of physical violence / assault , meaning 1 in every 3 women in India.


20 Days

I often go back to the time
When we sat on the staircase outside late one spring night,
When I threw my bitter resentments at you,
My despondency wrapped in I-hate-you’s.
But you hung on my acidic words,
Promising to make things right.
Do you remember, when we had our last 20 days ahead of us?
Do you remember your heartening words?

I often go back to the time,
Of our inhibited talks.
Your festering fears.
My profound apprehensions.
Our little ice cream walks.
Do you remember those casual saunters?
If only they lasted a little bit longer.

I often go back to the time,
When you took my hand,
And waltzed me around.
When everything else,
Evanesced in the background
A moment which passed before I could savor it.
Do you remember that song
Which suddenly became my favorite?

Oh how it killed me to watch it all fade,
But all I had,
Were those last 20 days.
Until you decided
To drop the masquerade.




Light as a feather, drifting away with the wind,
Or lost in space, floating to the ends of the galaxy,
Or fierce like a dragon, ruling the mountains,
Or swimming in the depths of my own childhood memories
I live in my dreams,
away from the confined realities.
Where I’m free.
Where I’m infinite.

And the nightmares that haunt me,
I’ve accepted as my own,
At least they make me aware of every breath I take,
With those demons I have grown.
They don’t scare me,
half as much as those dreamless slumbers.
Making me oblivious of the world,
Of my own existence,
Taking away everything I’ve ever known,
in an instant.

Yet I know, it’ll swallow me one day,
into its eternal darkness,
which makes me think,
maybe I’m not afraid of loosing myself,
maybe I’m just afraid of waking up.
From this beautiful dream which I so like to call a confined reality.
Maybe this is all I get, to fly and to be free,
to be humane and to be fierce,
to be one thing at a time,
or to be everything at once.

And I’m not ready to let this go,
my dreams, my deliriums
I’m not ready,
to wake up yet.


I claim no rights on the picture used above.