‘Don’t wear a dupatta today’ by Kanika Sharma

Don’t wear a dupatta today

Don’t today

Wear a dupatta

Walk in broad day light stark naked

sunlight

 

They will undress you

Undress you

with their eyes

They will Misbehave

Behave yourself

 

Clock moves around the same numbers

You only read it differently in different countries

This is India, it’s 9’o clock here

There

don’t go there

you should not

Fear

in the morning, Stage always has light, it is only dark

and quiet where the audience sits.

 

Are they looking

Look away

when eyes look at you

Lest it is understood as inviting

 

They grow like leeches grow on blood

So don’t give them blood

Blood blood

Oh there is a blood stain hide it

be more careful be more proper

be more

fem-i-nine

 

There will always be stains

Do wash them clean

Buy

Buy yourself a new blouse

Oh! this colour goes well with the

dupatta you left yesterday!

 

Glossary:

  1. Dupatta: a long scarf wore along with salwar kameez(suits) by South-Asian Women, it has various socio-cultural connotations; extension of women’s honour, respect and traditional modesty.

 

POET’s BIO

Kanika SharmaKanika Sharma, is from New Delhi and is 24 years old. Having finished her Masters in English Literature from Hansraj College, University of Delhi, she is currently working on her dissertation on Sites of Cultural Politics: Studying Memorials as a Postmodern Space as an M.phil research scholar at Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia. She also teaches English Literature at Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, University of Delhi. She understands poetry as a beautiful malleable form which can weave varied emotions, with just few words and strains. She works to achieve the same in her poems.

 

Illustration by Alan Van Every (Featured image on the front page)

 

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