Stench of Flowers

I breathed in the heavy musk of the darkly lit room
I had just arrived

The longer I inhaled, I understood
that I needed to get used to this dampness.
My heart was racing
did I know that my life was doomed?
Perhaps I wasn’t afraid of any impending disaster
For I had been bought like cattle

I remember the meadows behind my house
Dada bought nanhi, our cow home for the first time
Oh how she enjoyed grazing
And I with her, running around our land
the dew, wet and fresh against the soles of my feet
the cracked ground in the summers putting my feet on fire
200 rupees seemed like a big amount to pay for Nanhi

Now that I see, I think I too was worth at least that money

An old lady entered the room,

Five men followed
they asked me my name

I answered

My age

I answered

They asked me whether I had flowered yet

I didn’t know what they meant

the old lady laughed. She told them she checked
she told them I hadn’t

Flowers. I’d suck out the honey from little flowers
Lie on the grass as amma brought out a glass of milk
Taken for granted
these little pleasures
Tears find their way into my eyes
But a sting so sharp under my left ear
Disrupts my thoughts of amma
and I jerk away.
the tears don’t fall

Tears only create themselves within my eyes when I remember

Home, I remember what love felt like

I slowly learn where I am
I slowly learn my name
A new name
the dimly lit room has become my home now
It has been 16 years
I cannot leave, but now I do not want to
I know nothing else than this dimly lit rooms
I know nothing more than the smell fresh flowers brought to me
I know nothing more than the scent of tobacco
sometimes alcohol
sometimes more of the rough skin that touches me
at first they touched my soul
now they cannot go past my body
such is the fortress
such is the night that protects me

Yet maybe I wonder
What if I ran
what if that day I hadn’t turned to help the uncle in the van out
What if I was with amma
what would I be?
But this is where it remains
This is where I stop,
I stop at a what if.




The sky was roaring

The winds were wailing

On Earth, it was heavily raining

In heaven, everywhere there was just crying.

Amidst the storm

A baby girl was born

Early in the morn

Alas! For her, it was earth she was born upon.

“She is red and swollen

She is a girl! Around her devilish deeds are woven

Look at the raging rain, it’s an ill omen

She is a girl! Burn her in the oven.”

As she felt the heat, she cried

Crying hard through pain she finally died

Just after that the storm did subside

The sun behind the clouds no more could hide.

The God came on Earth

Landing on the ‘dirt’,

He looked happy but hurt

Enduring deep pain in his heart.

“Thank You” he said

In his hands lay the baby girl, cold

All still and burnt, she lay dead

He then a tear shed.


“I gave you my sweetest

Angel, my creation at its best

She was the prized egg from my pious nest

A piece from my heart… from my own chest.

The sky did roar

Crying, our eyes in heaven did grow sore

But this was because of the love we bore

For her who was now standing on earth’s door.

For your betterment, I had sent her

For you in your sorrow to refer

She was a girl, from your filthy mind, her’s did differ

But I guess your own doom instead of her you did prefer.

My love for you all has ceased

It is you whom you have deceived

Because of this girl who lies deceased

Your ruthless end’s closeness has increased.

I hereby declare a prophecy

Till the time your minds remain filthy

You won’t deserve a girl—who is always pious and lovely

Without women, the end for you would be thrice as deadly.”