The Stranger’s Land.

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It’s back to the shattered sleep
and the hopeless nights
when my inhibitions
got hold of me and shook and broke me
when someone sends me a gift
like that collage of me you sent, a gesture of your love.

It’s back to the fear and the dread
and the curdling of my blood
when someone puts out a card
at my front door for a party
like you did, your letter of blood, in the hope that
it’ll make me hate you less than I do now.

It’s back to the terror and hysteria
and the stopping heartbeat
when I feel someone tap
my shoulder from behind in recognition
the way you did when I
walked from my office to home at night.

It’s back to those hours at the police station
and the uninterrupted questioning
when I look for news items to report
the same way it did when
I filed a complaint against you
and they questioned my clothes.

It’s back to those walk of shames
and the fight-for-my-right protests
that I cover today
the same way I did when they
asked about you and if I wanted
to compensate.

It’s back to the long hours at court
and the judgement that took months
to pass
only for you to serve weeks
in the laps of luxury
while you were imprisoned.

It’s all back when I read
the news of your release
in the newspaper I worked for
and I know what can happen as
I pack my bag and buy a ticket
in cash for a stranger’s land.

Nirbhaya

It was the night of December 16th,
A girl and a boy, to a movie they had been.
A night of fun it was intended to be,
Until they knew what fate had for them to see.

It was ‘late’ at night- thirty minutes and nine
They boarded a chartered bus to get home on time.
Little did they know what would follow
That would lead the nation to bellow.

Until on the girl, six men passed lewd comments.
And threatened to kill the girl’s friend.
Did they realize something was not right?
Something that would lead to silent protests at night?

She was raped one by one, by all six of them.
And one was a young man of seventeen- Was he a devil’s gem?
Because it was unprecedented of the crime,
The brutality of the rape and the time.

For one hour she was tortured,
By beasts and demons from hell.
A daughter of our country,
Was in pain- In living hell.

Her intestines were extracted from a rod.
She was broken beyond repair.
How she must have suffered?
How she must have beared?

From a sea of unstoppable tears,
For they were, from the bus, thrown naked.
Forty-five minutes they were there,
And no one even glanced to care.

Then someone thought to call the police.
And by what the boy claims,
The police was unwilling to lift the girl.
For she was covered in blood and writhing in pain.

Injured but so, the boy lifted her.
And put her in the police van.
But even then the police argued,
On which hospital and police station to take them.

Finally she was admitted to a hospital in Delhi,
And many surgeries followed.
But what she did not know,
The country had hit a new low.

Jantar Mantar and India Gate,
Had become the new “hot-spots”.
The young India had awoken.
The young India had arose.

Candle light protests and peace marches,
Became common in New Delhi.
And all day long, to know lot more,
The people stayed glued to their telly.

For protesters who turned violent
They used water cannons and tear gas shellings
And beat them up with fat lathis.
Because of them, many people were also felling.

Meanwhile, the six accused
Were arrested and interrogated.
On how they did this heinous crime.
And when and how the girl fainted.

The girl, but, was battling for life.
And had undergone major surgeries.
So drawing inspiration from this case,
There were more reports of rapes and burglaries.

Knowing that the girl was critical.
And that she couldn’t be saved.
The doctors and the police wondered what to do.
With the case that had the world shaked.

On 29th December, the government decided
To shift the girl to a better hospital.
So she was airlifted to,
Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital.

Alas, this did not work.
And the girl breathed her last.
December 30th was marked the “Black Day”.
And the entire nation was aghast.

What had she done to deserve,
Such a bad end life?
Going on a ‘late night movie’,
Was this her crime?

Is this what a democratic nation is?
Where a girl is unsafe at night?
Where she is at a constant risk,
Of getting killed even when she is right?

Now that this fire has been lit.
It will not end this soon.
We demand, for the girl, justice.
And this is goal that none of of will miss.

This poem is a tribute to Nirbhaya/Damini for the courage she had in battling with life. She was a true leader and the spirit that has been initiated in the hearts of all people by her will not dampen. We salute her. She was a true fighter. We all demand justice for her. We hope that the accused are, as soon as possible, sentenced to death and finally the cause for which she  fought is complete.
R.I.P Nirbhaya/Damini.                                                        

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