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?

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