Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Protest poetry on exploitation of the girl-child

Child Prostitute
another dawn collapsed
she lay clutching at her coverlet
the night stream
of her soft silk hair
assaulted by
the fury of passion

virginity lost
her defiled body and mind
try to comprehend
the traces of pain
left behind
by the wicked night
brown buds of her breasts
yet to flower,bitten raw
by a savage lust
for young flesh

he steps out of the
eerie silence of the brothel
with not even a pretence of remorse
that she will never know
the soft colours of romance
or the embrace of freedom

are the only expressions
of life today
as the attack of
the double-edged sword
of untimely death and disease
waits in the shadows
of coffined splendour
and remains a permanent probability.

We are secular
the dalit quenches his thirst
at her doorstep
showers blessings
and moves on

purity of caste destroyed
the act declared illegitimate
a legitimate reason is found
to disrobe,beat,abuse
a double resonance of violence echos
as her soft palms are branded
with burning embers

around the corner
at a pre-election meet
the vulture in white, hands folded
we stand united,unbeaten
we are secular.

trapped in time’s turns re-turns
the orphan starts on
a treacherous journey

ravenous half-humans
lurk at every corner

her footsteps falter
through corridors of fear
life learns to worship pain

she accepts defeat,almost
when residual embers
of often-dreamt burnt dreams
rise up and soar high
in a leaping orange flame
to challenge history?

a just-nascent longing
dances in Cinderella’s dainty shoes.

victim of inhuman intentions
she sits huddled in disbelief
in red and purple grief
nerves taut as kite strings
life paralysed
in the infinite stillness of time

fragments of fugitive voices
echo in the child-woman’s ears
the divine marriage with the village deity
orchestrated by powerful landlords
breeds yet another scarred slave

she remains the daytime untouchable
yet feasted upon
in night’s treacherous lanes
to satiate animal desires
for God gave her a different colour

shivers run down
the grieving dawn’s spine
a witness to her
mutilated yet- to-flower breasts
the hazy mist fails to conceal
its shame-hung face
as the oozing red flows down
her trembling legs
to the growing dark stain
on the indifferent hand woven rug

pain-laden echos of dry dreams
haunt uncertain metaphors
of still-born tomorrows.


alluring manicured roundness
chocolate and raisin studded,
the cookie was once
a shapeless mass,
a function of
the oven’s volcanic fury
of the master baker’s
no-mercy sweeping gestures

woman,born, reborn
and born again
all in one birth
a function of man’s desire
seeking sense in
othertimes-ignored gestures
shaped, chiseled,
to suit her master,
is the manicured cookie
relished bite by bite until
dreams defeated,
she is a shapeless mass once more.

Child Bride

her first smile of freedom
takes shape in the music of
her kaleidoscopic glass bangles—
dream come true
the bangles belong to her

but they are crushed into
a thousand fragments
under the weight of
his naked unleashed passion
on the very first night
she’s stifled in the punjent smell
of loveless desire.

the broken remnants of glass
scatter multiple colours
on the crumpled bedsheet
but mark her innocence
with only red.
like a million arrows shot at once
her shrieks of terror
pierce the uncanny silence
of the dark expanse outside.


Guilt creeps in
the broken mirror reflects
ruthless desire
in the morbid half-light
of the dingy room

*henna yet to dry
virginity huddled in surrender
she’s a fragile bloom fresh
in a dark cellar

under a faded innocent skirt
the brown skin, perfect
the only asset of a family
imprisoned in poverty
for years uncounted
she was sold in marriage yesterday

a liquid ache under her skin
spreads insidiously
as he advances, wearing
an ugly smile of anticipation
his cold confident virility
a sharp contrast
to her tragic trembling lips

music of falling rain
on the window pane
in discordance with helpless screams
she had just lived her first death.

Peace poems of Dr Rita Malhotra on display at John Lennon Tower,Iceland

distant sea-gulls
trace the homeward path
across silent skies, boundless
above the infinite silver expanse,
draped in swathes of tranquility
harvest of peace!

desert-scape of thoughts
sense of reality lost in
rocking rhythms of nature
soulful brush-strokes of quiet calm
on the mind’s canvas
oasis of peace!

rose and marigold petals
at the temple door and
the embrace of a thousand gods
tame the racing, unheeding time
metamorphosed sensitivity!

in the chorus of the burbling brook,
rustling leaves ,the sailing breeze
and time’s soft footfalls
dreams wake up to the
salutation of quietude!

overcome by a finite sense of completeness
realization dawns that
peace is not just a road
nor a direction
peace is an eternal journey.

the raft recedes
from the hammered land,
a screaming earth
and blood-raining skies

I leave behind my ripped roots,
the absent coherence
of a people
trapped in hissing flame,
in soot-black fog
of rising smoke.
I leave behind the sinking earth
where evil-tainted wretched roads
lie buried beneath
sediments of human history

memory lingers awhile
before being swept away
by the tide of time

I seek refuge
in the ship’s beckoning arms
as it sets sail
to the else where-land
the land of peace.