It’s Their #MeToo. And Ours Too!

A hard-hitting poem that takes us through the life of an ordinary Indian girl. All her life silenced by the shaming and finger-pointing. But no longer silent.

She was an ordinary girl,
a happy girl
born in a happy family.

Till
an ordinary stranger spotted her from a distance
across the ground he hopped,
snaked in the crowd behind the little girl,
against her he rubbed his manhood.
She flinched. And moved away.
embarrassed, disgusted and confused.

She didn’t tell anybody.

Taking advantage of the power outage
an ordinary tuition teacher brushed her cheeks
scraped her tiny breasts
touched her thighs, every time.

She didn’t tell anybody.

Her school friend was called ‘heater’
whose jeans clad ‘modern’ legs
ordinary boys feasted their passion-filled eyes on.
The society blamed her boldness,
told her to cover up behind a salwar.

The college boys abused, threatened the girl
because the ordinary girl dared to question
their sense of entitlement,
took them head on.

She refused to cow down.
She was told to calm down.

‘A girl’s reputation is fragile like glass’
since childhood she was fed on,
‘once broken it can’t be repaired’
She imbibed the lessons.

Eyes lowered, she hurried past them.
The pervs, the creeps on a bike,
faceless men in the Holi revelry,
the young uncles, a fellow traveller,
a dress shop assistant, a vegetable vendor,
a dairy owner, an ageing neighbor,
she lost count.

They were not the big fish.
They were all ordinary men
preying, pawing, groping an ordinary girl.

Any girl.

They cried. Without a cry. Swallowed their tears.
Their shattered souls, they never bared.
They would have died with them-
the secrets in the darkest nooks of their souls-
but for the #MeToo.

Isn’t it their #MeToo?
Mine. And yours too?

A version of this was first published here.

Image source: pixabay

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