The day of the girl

A flower in the urban wild
A girl? No, it’s just a child,
Dusty, dry, disheveled hair
Practiced expression of despair
Infant cradled in her arms
Grubby palm taps the clean glass
Eyes, defiant, sharp and bright
Almost contradicting her plight
And instinctively,
I avoid her gaze
And move on as usual
Through the traffic maze
It’s the day of the girl, I recall.
As I adjust the AC
And roll up the window
And shut my mind with it.

When I open the news page
Eyes, fierce but thoughtful
Stare back at me
Through screaming headlines
She was shot, they say
For speaking her mind
A brave bud, barely blooming,
Yearning for a humane life
Crushed by delusional zealots
To protect a religion
Or a perverse tradition
A helpless mind, saddens
Then brushes it aside
It’s the day of the girl, I recall.
And close the page.

Then another page opens
And, now I almost laugh
Delusion is an epidemic
Cannot believe it’s not a farce
Marry her off, they say
Marry off the child
She will only then be protected from the wild.
Suddenly,
Like a counter argument,
Countless pages open
All over the place
I cannot keep up
With the stories of disgrace
Mobbed, stripped, raped and beaten
Talked and retold, but soon forgotten
Forgotten by the clicks
On videos gone viral
Drowned by the shallow
Statements of officials

My tired mind,
Decides to move on
Searches for signs of a new dawn
And yes, there they are
Like a promise of change
Some stories of medals
And honors in games
Some Inspiring tales of wonder
Sporadic, but definite
With sanity and reason
Some voices do resonate
So I tell myself
I need not despair
Someone else out there
Will act and repair
It’s the day of the girl, after all
And I close the browser pages.
And return to my life
Indifferent, Shielded, Normal.

— Written on (11-Oct-2012) UN: The International Day of the Girl Child

Today, October 11th is declared by United Nations as The International  Day of the Girl Child. Ironically, today the news headlines comprise of the Khaps and politicians advocating marriage at the age of 16 in Haryana, and 14 year old Malala Yousafzai shot by the Taliban.  The mind got thinking. And hence the Poem.

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This entry was posted in feminisms, issues, politics, reflections and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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