Two poems "Being Belindas" and "Almost Rape" are published on the website Ultra Violet-- a site for Indian Feminists. You can read them here-- www.ultraviolet.in
I am also pasting them below, although they are elsewhere on this blog as well.
(a response to Pope’s Rape of the Lock)
The mirror hangs before me
My long face stares back at me
a pointed chin
whose rounding I dread
A tiny forehead
gleaned from the thick mass
of black hair surrounding it.
At the black hair
now streaked with red
I oscillate between
fascination and nostalgia
The hair, mostly helter-skelter
sometimes, precise in a bun
A glazed eyeball
with its bit of plastic-glass lens
A newly pierced nose–a shade too large
showing off that li’l bit of green
My ears trying to seek attention
with their multiple studs and rings
which I regard as pets
And a moody mouth.
but on the whole, a faceI can live with.
My skin the colour
of burnt caramel
a thin, supple body
I am unashamedly
in love with.
Bottles and vials lined
in an array on the slab beside me
the daily ritual
of cleansing, toning, conditioning
the creams and the perfumes
the chief kohl that lines my eyes
the earrings in their silver box
the cupboard with its
greater assortment of clothes
than i could ever wear
the occupational hazards
of being a young girl.
Oh Pope, and other misogynists!
We love being Belindas
and Belindas we shall remain
with our bottles and our vials
our bibles and our billet doux
and we rebel against rapes
of our locks and otherwise.
our bodies and their vagaries
and tricks we play with them
And not playthings or objects
for your phallus
or that inglorious phallic symbol
“bhaiya, is this the rajiv chowk metro?”
“yes, take the next metro that comes”
“ok, thank you”
“do you live here?”
“No, I just came to visit someone”
“I work here, in the metro”
“in the metro bathroom, come with me, I’ll show you the bathroom”
“I can’t! The metro comes in 2mins now”
“so what? It will come again soon. Let me show you the bathroom”
“I can’t! I have a very long journey ahead. I can’t possibly waste time and go with you.”
“Madam, the metro is very quick and fast, your journey will not be long. Come with me to the bathroom, please come with me to the bathroom……”