Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Privileged Indian Male


I am not you.
I am not you.
For… I am a privileged Indian male.

I was but a bubbly toddler when I first heard,
“Oh no, let him be, he is a boy…”
I was but an acne’d teen when I first heard,
“Here, I will wash your plate.”
I was but a confused youth when I first heard,
“Boys will be boys, let him play a while more.”

I was but a wobbly toddler when I first heard,
“Look how he pushes and fights! He is a boy…”
I was but a hormonal dude of a teen when I first heard,
“You must be hungry, let me cook you something.”
I was but a raging drunk youth when I first heard,
“He is after all a boy, he is supposed to be this way.”

I was but a drooling toddler when I first heard,
“Lucky for you, he is a boy…”
I was but a silent teen when I first heard,
“Home Science? That’s not for you; cooking and what not!”
I was but a temperamental youth when I first heard,
“Be a man! You can’t let girls affect you like that!”

These voices, they grew; all around me,
They grew every day, in numbers
And in tone.

The voices were always there…
Each of them feminine,
An aunt. A mother. A sister.
A grandmother. A cousin.

Now.
A mother-in-law. A wife.
A sister-in-law. A mother.
An aunt. A grandmother.
All feminine. Mostly feminine.

Now.
I hear them speak the same words.
The same words from decades ago.
They speak it to my son.
They speak it to my nephew.
They speak it to my little brother.

Why?
Why can’t you stop?
I don’t want.
I don’t want to
Be defined.
I don’t want.
I don’t want to
Live… live the life
Of a privileged Indian male.

You make me lean on you.
You make me incapable
Of looking after my needs.
You never set me free.
Yet, you treat me like
I am privileged.
I want these voices to stop.
Can you make them stop?

I can feel my chains giving way,
Tearing away…
From the reality that is mine,
Weighed down by your words.

I don’t want.
I don’t want to
Carry this burden.
I don’t want.
I don’t want to
Love… love the life
Of a privileged Indian male.

[Female voices of ancestors in loud whispers and strange tongues]

Innocence. Tie she up. Kill she. My boy. Want boy. No she want here. Please see me. Destroyer of dreams. My boy. Want boy. Jewelry… pretty, we like. Parade she front of neighbours and relatives. My boy. Want boy. Red dot, we no like. Hate we be woman. Sit she down. Tie she up. Give she away. My boy. Want boy.  

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Stirrings of an Ineffable Soul

She closed her eyes,
As she felt every part of her being
Immersed in a consciousness, alien to her.
The voices in her head, faint whispers
To begin with, rose to a cacophony,
As the consciousness reached
A crescendo of its own!

Suddenly, it was all over;
She could hear the crash of silence
Against her pining soul.
A silence so loud, she wished
For the cacophony of the voices
In her head again.
Unknown to her, every bit of her soul
Transformed, mutated and altered
To soak in the silence,
Silently creating a sound of its own.

Exhausted, she lay, waiting
Patiently, for the pain,
The angst and the clarity
Of the unknown.
She relinquished her ego;
She relinquished her name;
She welcomed the unknown
With open arms and
Closed eyes.

In darkness of the sun,
It crept up on her,
Shrouding her being,
Purifying her soul,
Lightening her mind,
Brightening her body, and
Freeing her dreams;
Until all there was left
Was a single unity;
An unknown one.

There was no her;
There was no soul;
There was no light;
There was no pain;
There was only
The pureness of being.
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