Poetry: Prachi

Prachi
Parched

"Be expressive, be bold, 
Say what you think, don’t hold
What you feel within.”
So let me tell you
Mr or Mrs X, the craft that you’ve mastered
Is a part of my routine. 
I express with silence, 
I think, so I hold. 
I am whom you hide
Within the quilt of boldness. 
"Ask when you don’t get, 
Yes it’s complex yet simple, I bet, 
Stand up and speak”
If I will stand up, 
You’ll go down. 
Have you ever touched the ground, 
When it’s laid open in the heat? 
No, not the one inside your house, 
The one in the open field. 
Yes! 
I live on it. 
I sleep on it. 
I eat over it. 
My wounds are parched. 
But my memory never betrays me, 
Didn’t you teach me to be deaf and dumb? 
***


An Interview with ‘I’

Hello I. 
Hope it was easy to find our studio. Hope you didn’t get any traffic. 
"No. Your studio is very close to my home, less than a walking distance.”
Oh! Great. So tell the world how he held you from behind. 
"I.. I.. "
It’s okay I. We understand. But be a little bold while answering questions. 
"… (Nods reluctantly)”
So he held you from behind right in front of your house and you screamed. Right? 
"Yes.. "
Who was he? 
"I don’t know—”
Come on. You were wandering on the streets late at night and when you’re asked questions, you don’t know? Be courageous. 
"… (Sobbing) "
Don’t be scared. We don’t mean to harm you. Where exactly did he hold you? 
"From behind—”
Where did he hold you from behind? 
"My.. (Sobbing) "
Belly, stomach, chest.. Where? 
"(Sobbing) Chest. "
Finally! Now tell us why you were roaming on the street late at night? 
"I wasn’t roaming. "
Then he pulled you out of your house? 
"No. I was—”
That means you were roaming. Tell us why. 
"I was returning from my classes. "
What kind of classes? Why don’t you attend morning classes? All the teenage girls are the same. They think they are too grown up! Yes, so where did he touch you? 
"I told you just now—”
Okay yes. Chest. Now tell us did he just touch or—
"He touched, pressed and I couldn’t breathe for a few minutes, exactly the way I can’t breathe right now. (Yells and Wipes off the cheeks) I hope you "understand”. Don’t you? So yes, he held my chest, he came from behind—”
Okay. So he just held you. Nothing much. He didn’t try to force himself into your body. Right? Then why did you scream? 
"I think you need a lot of details. Okay. 
He was drunk, and the sharp smell penetrated my body. I wasn’t allowed to move. But let me tell you one thing. You may not understand my part of the story, but I bet you will understand his part because I didn’t feel much different today. Thank you for pulling me out of my house. See again I was not roaming, still you held me from behind. I swear you all are perfectly trained. And since I couldn’t ask that day, What makes you rape a girl who has still not been formed properly?”
***


The voice of Silence

Silences speak. 
Yes they do! 
They induce opinions. 
You’re a man? 
A silent man? 
Intellectual indeed! 
Oh! A woman? 
Silent? 
Congratulations, she consented!
What? You are none? 
Silent. You should be. 

But I can hear
All these silences, 
The chaotic silences. 
They do speak
More than chaos, 
More than swords, 
Louder than rifles, 
Higher than the sky.
 
I can see
Where all these silences meet
And become one. 
They lose themselves
And speak for all. 
These silences
Then heard through the walls, 
Reach every house, 
Cross every street.

Yes I can hear,
I can see
All these silences
Screaming out loud, 
Crying inside the shroud.

What? 
Am I late? 


***
Prachi is a student of Masters in English at Patna Women’s College, Patna. She writes to express herself and wishes to be read as a renowned writer someday. She loves food and wants to travel and try all kinds of cuisine, so that she can write about them in her works. 

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