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The Locked Down Woman

Posted: April 4, 2020

Why does nobody realize that women have always been under lockdown, bearing mental, emotional and physical violence to uphold the “culture and traditions” of society?

How many days more,
terrified, she swallows a wail
the continuous throbbing
the pain is getting unbearable
after sleep deprived nights
the noise outside is deafening
the silence within is oppressive
it’s killing her slowly

The TV blares news of the deadly virus
as she battles her personal demons
the vitriol rises, outside and inside
her personal space that he’s threatening to override

Who would kill her first, she shudders
the virus or the ‘pati parmeshwar’
he has not left the house
for eight days and one hour

There’s no escaping his ominous presence
the stench of his possessive manliness
the monster is appropriating more power
his caustic tongue makes her cower
raging, screaming, thrashing
for the hot tea and the cold shower
for the damp floor, for the baby crying
for being cold to his lusty overtures

Stay home, the virus is fierce,
don’t break the lockdown
the leaders, the doctors advise
or you won’t see another morn.

Why does nobody realize
women have always been under lockdown
bearing mental, emotional and physical violence
to uphold the lofty culture and tradition

Stay home to break the chain
only ‘I’ and ‘U’ can stop the virus
exhort the wise men and women.
shhh…don’t you dare step outdoors
don’t think of speaking to anyone
menacingly the demon glowers
the chains around her are closing in
‘I’ can break them but who will be ‘U’, she cries.

Image source: a still from the film Soni

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