#ThePoetryHour : #onebillionrising #WomeninPoetry

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L to R: Shreya Krishnan, Megha, Shilok Mukkati, Pinky Chandran, Bakula Nayak, Urmila Chanam

As part of Bangalore’s One Billion Rising, a sub-event #Womeninpoetry,  conceptualised by Radio Active was held to celebrate #Rising on 29th January 2017

Shakthi, by Shreya Krishnan

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PC: vinceshe.in

Every time you think you buried us,
We will rise from the ashes,
Our voices screaming in a crescendo,
Drowning you in their anger,
We will haunt your days,
We will damage your nights,
We will be a living reminder of your sins…

Dare you kill me before I am born,
I will be born again and again,
In some form to bring reality back,
To shove it in your face,
To remind you that I have a right to exist,
I have a right to live,
I am innocence, I am every foetus you killed…

Dare you deny me the right to live,
Quell my breath on birth will you?
How many infants will you murder,
Simply because you wanted a boy,
How many of my kind will you silence,
Before their cries reach their mothers ears,
I am sorrow, I am every girl child you buried…

Dare you not educate me,
For fear that I may demand more,
For what is an education worth,
A frivolous expense or a tiresome burden,
All for a girl who was assigned domesticity,
To feed and cook and clean as the canvas,
I am a bird, whose wings you clipped…

Dare you dictate my life choices,
Influence my decisions by force,
Use my vulnerability for your gain,
Manipulate my compassion,
My choice to be married or not or to be divorced,
Work or stay home or run an empire,
I am a dream, that you shattered…

Dare you make me an object of your desire,
Put me up on a scale to rate my vital statistics,
Talk about my body and appearance,
As if intellect and a soul were non existent,
And then when I am raped or molested,
Point fingers at me as if it was my crime,
I am anger, I am every girl raped or molested…

Dare you question my status of motherhood,
You don’t own my womb nor do you call shots on my uterus,
Wanting or not wanting,
Having or not having a child is my call,
My style of mothering too,
Is not up for scrutiny or commentary,
I am nonchalance, whose privacy you stole…

Dare you question my intellect,
My presence in a boardroom,
Or behind the podium airing an opinion,
Or in a parliamentary discussion,
Or in a classroom in the midst of a debate,
Or as a leader in the public sphere,
I am a woman scorned, whose brains you ignored…

Who are you?
You are every man and every woman,
Who believed a man deserved more,
Maybe better education or the only egg in the egg curry,
You are everyone who blamed a victim of rape,
You are the person who laid responsibility on a girls choice of clothes,
Or where she decided to go or be,
You are every man and woman who didn’t take another woman seriously,
You are every human who ignored a plea for help,
From a victim of abuse or one in a bad relationship,
You are the one who questions my intent,
You are every man or woman who thinks that equality is a far cry,
You are every person who laughs at the idea of feminism…

You have not seen power,
In all her screaming glory,
You are barely aware of repercussions,
Of voices rising in unison,
Against perpetrators and crimes,
So shamelessly commited,
Against an entire gender,
Sexy or unsexy,
Size zero or a triple XL,
I am shakti, that power,
That will burn you,
Not just a goddess that you worship,
Not just a woman,
But every woman on the planet,
Who was made a victim,
Who lived in the shadow of patriarchy,
Who didn’t know she had a choice,
Who was told she was lesser,
Who was told she had no needs,
Who was objectified,
Who was denied her own sexuality,
Who was told her place was at home,
Who was told women should be seen not heard,
Who was treated with bias,
I am her voice,
I am her anger,
I am her sorrow,
I am shakti,
I am the US and I am the WE,
And I am here to put an end to this…

– Shreya

Grey Skies by Bakula Nayak

 

Take a Listen to the poems

 

 

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