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The Flickering Yellow Lights

Posted: August 23, 2018

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A poem that explores the dark and narrow lanes with faint yellow lights in the corners. It’s those lanes that mothers ask daughters to never head to. 

There’s a flickering yellow light,
In the alley,
by the corner,
guarded by flies and insects
constantly circling,
basking in the warmth provided.
You have only heard about the beauty of the city in the night,
tonight, you experience it.
You see it as you walk under the starry skies,
studded to perfection.
There’s a familiar beat resonating within your body,
similar to all the nights you have walked alone.
The predators never let your mother,
or your sister,
or your aunt,
walk with their head held high past 8 pm.
You walk, nevertheless,
hearing parallel footsteps with each of those you take,
hearing catcalls and whistles.
The drumbeat that your heart is trying to resonate,
has accelerated three fold.
Out through the alley of the flickering lights,
you see them coming.
They wear bright sarees, exceptionally standing out as the studs that adorn the skies above you.
Their lips stained with colours so dark,
and hair adorned with jasmines.
You see women your family despise,
but tonight, you see corpses behind those extravagant colours.
You recognise the street where love is auctioned for a ruppee or two,
but tonight you see the desperate, rock hard determination of a mother earning for her child.
A daughter,
to feed her family.
A wife,
who is forced into the whole ordeal.
You see them as they guide you towards your car, distracting the predators.
They led you in, close the door and advice you to keep of these streets.
You want to stay, listen to what their eyes say,
but instead you pass a smile, as you drive off.

There’s a flickering yellow light,
in the alley,
by the corner.
The corner where love is auctioned for a ruppee or two.
The corner which smells like jasmine.
The corner where they sell their bodies, in hopes of helping their helpless situations.
The corner where shameless fingers roam 16 year old bodies.
The corner, that unexpectedly became your guardian angel.
The yellow light still flickers,
and the night is still studded,
as the universe receives another prayer,
from this very alley.

Image source – Pixabay

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