I think, and can’t stop thinking,
What, after all, is the reason
That a woman’s burnt corpse
And scattered human bones lie
At the threshold of every ancient civilization
And a dead prince
Becomes the son-in-law of the whole country –
Is given the licence to barter away Sitas.
Sitas are tied to white beards
And in the scriptures,
Grasses get pregnant.
Of their own will
Drowned themselves in wells –
That’s lodged in the police records.
And some women
Burnt themselves in the funeral pyre –
That’s written in the scriptures.
I‘m a poet
One day I’ll summon
Both police and priest together
In the women’s court
And abolish all the courts in between…
Abolish also the claims
That the gentlemen
Have presented against the women and children.
…I’ll bring alive
Those women who drowned in wells and burnt on pyres
And once again record their testimonies
To make sure nothing is left out
Nothing is forgotten
Because I know of that woman
Who cramped her seven-span body
In her one-span yard all her life
And never once even peered outside.
And when she did come out
It wasn’t a woman but her corpse that came out,
That spread everywhere in the open
Like Mother Earth.
A woman’s corpse is like Mother Earth
My friends –
That spreads everywhere
From the police stations to the courtrooms.
All evidence of oppression is being erased.
The priest with his sandal-smeared forehead,
The soldier whose chests swell with weapons
All say praise the King.