Jamshedpur lulled my senses
Each evening’s walk in the large Jubilee Park
Winding between old trees and curated lawns.
Do you know, they are setting up lights?
To make it look like a fairy land
Or another ostentatious Indian wedding
I won’t be here. And not a minute too soon.
For as I went for my walk today,
The park was closed. I took the long road home
They’re illuminating the park, the guard said,
Smiling. No visitors today.
Someone grabbed my breast.
He came from behind on a bike
Had the cheek to smile as he looked back
“Bastard” I yelled, violated. Picked up a brick
But he was gone. At the corner a man looked up
Asked me what was wrong. A guard came out of a house.
Some uniformed men watched as crazed, I ran
Back home. The stone still in hand.
They’re setting up lights, it is announced.
Talking to my daughter
Who knew not what hit her.
Why then do we walk in darkness?
It was full light, only 4:30 pm. Do they even know
What dark looks like? I wasn’t showing any flesh
I wasn’t even asking for it. It was just a walk
In broad daylight. Do they know what darkness is?
Dark is a woman of fifty
Being pawed by a man
Just because he can.
Dark is the colour of lies
Told to appease in twilight,
Yes, they will set up lights.
Lights are the women who dare
To be out there
Lights are the women who silently fight
Who are ‘they’, then, to illuminate anything?