Tag Archives: CRISIS

a thousand deaths in silence

“Had she been my daughter, I would have shot her for the shame she has brought upon our family!”

How many times have you heard something of this kind before? Ask me and I will tell you that I have heard this a hundred thousand times in the many years I have lived . This is the reality of the place I was born in, no matter how grim it may seem to you.

I have come across the grand tales of killing one’s daughter for one reason or other many times now. These were the tales of horrors narrated to us when we were kids. Some of those who were murdered were my own cousins. Some of the people who killed them hold stupendous records of killing their six or seven daughters in a row till a male child was born.

The logic behind such gruesome acts of barbarity when asked was, “itna dahej kahan se layenge?” (from where will we bring so much dowry) One cannot justify their crimes but the logic behind the murders isn’t baseless. A civil servant from the upper caste demands a dowry of one crore, while the P.O. of a government bank will not agree to marry if he is not given atleast a sum of 25 lakhs and a professor in a reputed college will not compromise on anything less than 30-35 lakhs in cash, mind it! Dowry, an evil in itself, leads to other evils in the society such as female foeticide/infanticide, subjugation of women and limiting the expenses incurred on them etc. Also, those parents who dare to raise their girl child have no other option but to indulge in unfair means to accumulate enough wealth so that they can do their daughter’s kanyadaan. Apart from this if you haven’t brought enough dowries with you then there are high chances that you could be subjected to extreme forms of domestic violence which might be fatal. Such a loss is irredeemable.  This gruesome event takes place in a country where the laws are pro-girls.

Therefore, when a girl elopes to marry a man of her choice, technically it should please the parents. But, unfortunately it does not.  She is hunted down by all means and life after that for her is never the same. She is not supposed to marry a guy of her own sub-caste, a guy of another caste or a guy of another religion. So, before she can think of falling in love she needs to rationalize whether this relationship is feasible. And they say, “Love just happens.” Fools they are! Therefore, the options available to her are narrowed down to the guy of her parent’s choice.

So, why don’t we trust our parents that they will make the best choice for us? Is it our instinct to experiment or the influence of the so-called modern ways that we want to fall in love freely? But, love does not leave any choice. So, I ask my brother (since I dare not ask my father), “Am I allowed falling in love?” He nodded, “Yes you are by your own will! But, why do you want to opt for something which will create problems at home?”  A point well made by my brother which sums up the precarious nature of choices available to us.

If I can make the choice of my career on my own, if I know what food I like, what dress I prefer, what people I like to be with, why I can’t I choose my partner? What’s so wrong with this that it does not get me the approval of my parents and society by extension? Why is that when I choose to materialize my relationship with my partner, I need to flee from home?

Why can’t I just go to my parents and say that this is the guy I want to be with?

But then, I am a good girl. I am not going to leave my father for a petty five- year long relationship with a boy. I am not even going to ask such questions. I won’t let these stupid thoughts cloud my brain. I cannot be a bad example for my younger sisters. I cannot soil my father’s honor for my dreams and desires. I cannot be the cause of the murder of a yet another girl child whose parents are scared that they will have to face the same disgrace suffered by my parents.

I am ready to die a thousand deaths in silence. This is not my own destiny…this is the collective destiny of my community.


I mourn alone

It’s crowded here,

But, I am left to stand alone.

Midst all bustling,

I am left to mourn alone

My steps are slow

And I walk dreaming alone

But, I see you are gone long ago

And, I am left to mourn alone

I have no will to live alone

And to leave you to live alone

I turn to see if you are there

But, I am left to mourn alone

My heart now quivers in unrest.

It weaves the tales of threat.

 Frightens me and my smile and solace

And absorbs its charm and grace.

But, on the face of dismay

My optimism fails to succumb to this date

And I wait for you to turn and say

“Everything after all wasn’t such a waste!”

I lost my muse

Aspirations still find themselves centered towards you

and so, I am stuck in this torpid and doomed to write

all day long and on these moonless nights

till I wipe out the very trace of you.

Oh! how we conspired together to never let this end,

to inspire each other and let our creations blend!

I had chosen to be your apprentice

declare myself your canvas, and be your master-piece

Such desires toil every night to scratch the layers of reality.

But, they fail to transcend the turmoil of inner duality

My hollow words echo back  in dismay

From the chalice, tears percolate everyday

I fear not your hatred O! Muse, but your insensitivity

I regret not your absence but my instance of levity

How shall I now chronicle my tale, O! Fountainhead

without you how shall I narrate that instance, when we both bled.

How shall I now say,

what words shall I choose,

who will listen to my wearied rhyme

to the ragged tale of my tumultuous crime?

Will it be discarded as a lowly device

 or will it suffice –

 when I say, “I lost my muse

in the myriad of hues”

Yes, such creations never end. But for now I guess I will stop here. Probably you would like to have a look Ayan and Shubham!