When I learned how to walk, I complained
I am restricted of space.
When I learned how to dress,
I complained about that long duppatta
That strangled me sometimes.
When I first fell in love,
I complained my boundary is my religion.
When I started travelling alone,
I complained of getting raped
by those dirty looks and touches.
When I went to a new city,
I talked about that knife which
I kept in my bag;
instead of a lipstick or a chocolate.
I cried of my insecurity and my limits,
but when I saw her, I stopped complaining;
I shouted about Rights, Liberty & Ambedkar,
because she was faceless and voiceless.
She was like those toys,
which work on battery.
I told her, ‘remove your purdah,
And let’s look into each other’s eyes’;
Then she talked about culture and tradition.
I told her, ‘let’s break it’.
Then she showed me those injury marks,
all over her body, which told me,
she is the property of her husband,
and upper-caste men;
She said the only moment
she is not untouchable is ,
when she gets raped.
I came back leaving her behind,
because I didn’t know the solution for
Culture of silence,
The culture of lakhs of Rajasthani Dalit women.
Deepika Rose Alex