The Wounded

I do not usually explain my poems. But this is one of my older ones. Usually I throw away the poems I make; I send them to a friend, say, and will not bother to copy it back. Or put it as a comment somewhere never to be found again. But I have this one because I had entered it in a competition… and won!

It is written in exactly 377 words – according to MS Word. Those nuanced in Indian LGBT scene should know that Article 377 is a very nasty law which prohibits unnatural sex – interpreted to be anything other than penal-vaginal sex – and on ground used by police to harass LGBT people. It has a tumultuous legal history too; the 147 year old law drafted in British colonial era was decriminalized by Delhi High Court in 2009 (applicable to all of India) but Supreme Court reinstated it. The latter judgment is widely regarded as one of the worst reasoned judgments that came out of SC in recent times. In that spirit, the competition was titled ‘Constrained by 377’ and here is my poem without further ado:

The Wounded

Delhi has it never seen
Power cut so deep and sour.
For three full days it has been
My life’s darkest hour.

I have been home all this time
With my parents and sister.
To them I confessed my “crime”
On the bannister.

Back on first day of the cut
Confusion and chaos ruled.
Next day anger shot up but
By evening it cooled.

By the third day chaos looked
Like a new monotony;
It was all fans, teas and books
(People act funny).

Third day evening we all too
Gathered for the evening snack:
Tea brew, soup stew, laugh ensued
But I sat all blank.

I suddenly interrupted,
“Father, mother – need to talk.
Sorry I have disrupted…
Please, you do not balk.”

Father stopped supping his soup;
Mother looked very concerned;
Sister laughed – a nincompoop –
Stern looks rightly earned.

Every single eye on me
Their piercing glances stung;
Buzzing sound of only bee
I sat, got tea-drunk.

Caffeine gave me boost of sorts,
I started, “I am okay.
If long story is made short –
People, I am gay.”

Breaking china, more silence.
Breaking hearts, more buzzing bee.
Atmosphere really tense –
Gods, please swallow me!

No sound comes from sister young;
She forgets to close her jaw.
Mother has on tip o’ tongue
Numerous questions though.

Yet first to speak was father,
“Do not be a fool, my dear.”
Did he really not bother
To acknowledge my tears?

Tears – oh! – they had welled up
very soon they turned to tide.
I put down my angry cup –
Stumbled, ran inside.

I do not know why they never
Followed me into my room.
Lonely, I cried in despair
‘Twas my day of doom.

I woke up at three A.M.
The stars too had not set.
Clung to me was darkness and
Pillow really wet.

Everybody was sleeping.
I tiptoed to get some food
When I heard mother weeping;
Strangely, I felt good.

She was sitting on the porch
On the very same chair.
Glowing in the dim of torch
Far away nowhere.

Inch to her was like a mile
Her I didn’t want to console.
I had suffered all this while
Revenge was my goal.

I would love it if you go "tippy, tap" with your keyboard here :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s