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I go out,
Wind blows, rain pours.
I board trains, buses, elevators,
I change stations, I change floors.

I was brought up as a free bird,
Not a tamed pigeon.
Who'd wear an apron and stay in the kitchen,
Well, instead, I wear what I like,
I go where I want, when I want,
And ride my man's bike.

My short clothes are a problem,
A bad impression on our national emblem.

A slut is what I'll be proclaimed.
And They'll be blunt.
Girls like me,
Are very easy for them to hunt.

My narrow jeans is a wrong thing.
Their narrow mindset isn't.

My short clothes is what they'll point out,
They'll whistle, tease and shout.
They'll think I'm ready, that I give consent.
But when I wore those shorts, that's not what I meant.

They think this is a game,
They think I wear these because I want fame.
First they'll perform an act of shame,
Then they'll drag me in the court and then they'll blame.

They're all double faced,
On the outside they'll tell me to wear full clothes,
Such that my curves are hard to find.
They think I don't know,
They've already tore my salwar kameez apart in their minds.

They doing something to me doesn't say anything about my character,
It tells about theirs.
Tomorrow when I walk on the streets again,
They're still gonna stare.

They're perverted vision shall scan me,
They'll decide what I should wear,
They'll ask me to conceal.
Apparently wearing shorts in summer is a big deal.

I know even if I close my eyes they still can judge,
They still can see,
But when I close my eyes,
I can live in the world I always wanted to be.

I look forward to my dreams,
Over my eyes, I pull this veil.

I did do what they say.
They're elder to me I shall obey.
I concealed,
Not my clothes this time,
but my ears and my mind.
Raised myself so high,
Now they can't find.

Seeing me reach higher,
They still stare.
But how long?
They can't stare if I don't care.

—Balshree Adityaa Wagh
21 June 2017

In memory of Jyothi Singh, 2012 Delhi gang rape victim.


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