She has already won a bloody war
unknowingly, in her birth.
And this blood spilt shall mark her life.
Shackles will bind her,
allowing just enough air to breathe,
till she walks the path trodden.
Her footsteps must be small and unheard,
always a step behind the striding man.
She is the symbol, sacrifice and casualty
of every religion.
She is the shroud of honour,
the measure of morality,
the fancy drapes of virtuosity and values
hung to hide burning brides and daughters.
She is taught to be desired,
her skin and anatomy being more precious than her life itself
to be exhibited and auctioned.
She is hung on the crossroads,
as the streets fill with silent abettors,
when her dignity has been torn to shreds
by men hunting for pleasure.
She is taught to be ‘good’,
obedient, chaste, obsequious
and ready to suffer,
for her pain is her wisdom,
which holds the universe together.
A prized jewel to her parents,
a trophy to her husband
to establish his legacy,
an expensive décor to her in-laws.
An ominous blemish in her spouse’s death
a forgotten tale in her own.
-- Priyanka Rath