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“Let me out!” The boy screamed
He banged the wooden doors that reeked of shame
All these years, he hid his guilty truth
He didn’t know how to face the world again
The closet was dark, yet he felt safe
Section 377 was powerless there
Although a life of hiding, didn’t feel right
He wanted to be fearless enough to step outside
Trapped in the shadows, a voluntary prisoner was he
Who held on to his freedom awaiting the approval of society
That day never arrived,
But through an epiphany there was light!
For he had the key all along,
The closet doors ought to be unlocked from inside!
For the first time in years, he opened the doors
Took his baby steps into the new world out below
No more lies he thought and put away his mask
They needed to accept him, just as he was
He marched out to the frontiers with his head held high,
But a fear engulfed him when he saw the barricade outside
They were closing in on him, he knew what this meant
377 was dominant here, but he wasn’t going back in there again
“How dare you step outside?” The society boomed at him
“This isn’t natural, you are a living sin!”
The word cut deep like knives, a tear came in his eye
But of course, this was unnatural too because apparently boys don’t cry.
His faith might have abandoned him, but courage stayed by his side
No matter what, he wasn’t going to live a lie
” A freedom to love, a freedom to live, that is all i ask
I cant spend the rest of my years hiding behind a mask”
His speech fell onto deaf ears, only silence replied
His request to live a life of truth was outrageously denied
They couldn’t see a closet, for them it was a “phase”
How could he protest against a god who made him this way?
Despite his cries, they took him off his feet
Locked him in his closet, and threw away the key
Cause there would be no problem if there was no closet on the ground
So they lit a flame of hypocrisy and burnt the closet down
The little girl walked through the crowded streets
And swam against the chaos,like a fish against the flow
She felt a stab and was very weak
But had to find a way to get back home
Trapped, in her chaotic oblivion
She hopped along recalling her carefree life
The world is nothing but a lying mirror
But she didn’t know that and so she smiled
A trickle of whispers grew around her
Gasps and giggles followed her steps
They glared and stared at her sheer audacity
For her dress, the colour of innocence was now stained with red
The world was disgusted with a single colour
The colour of blood which defined life
Was the colour of courage and sacrifice
Yet now it was nothing but a mark of shame
A struggle that’s ought to be kept hidden away
Unknowingly she crossed the threshold of womanhood
And descended into an endless abyss of responsibilities
The little girl was a girl no more
Until her innocence was murdered by misogyny
She sat in the waiting room with her head held high,
And masked her fears with defiant eyes
A fear of rejection, a fear of shame
Unveiled behind a single name
A whore, a bitch, a shameless slut
The poison of a culture, the messenger of lust
They judged her on whatever they could see
But never saw the girl who tried to make ends meet
She let herself be defined by two -faced hypocrites
Who shamed her by day and came slithering back at night
She tried to be optimistic , she tried to live life to the best
But the only positive thing that came back was a pregnancy test.
So the whore sat in the waiting room, and held her head up high
For the whispers grew around her, she had been recognized
Although she covered very inch of skin and tried to look alright,
She had never felt so naked, and vulnerable inside
When they finally called her name, she rushed to the doctor’s room
She couldn’t stand the disgust and the depressing gloom
As she waited for her turn, the nurse came up and said
“I’m sorry but i’m afraid you must go somewhere else instead,
This hospital has a name, a reputation that’s good and true
And we cant risk to ruin it by serving sluts like you”
She fought back the tears, there’s no point trying to fight
And walked out of hell, with all her all faith destroyed
She had nothing to live for, no more options left
She wrote a goodbye note to no one and made a tryst with death
She wouldn’t be missed, humiliation was her tomb
But then she thought about the life growing in her womb
She saw a glitter of hope, maybe they could survive
The world may be disgusted by a whore, but not a mother and her child
For once something shifted, she look up at the stars above
And realised her fear was overpowered by love
So she took a step back and decided to face the days ahead of her,
For she had been called many names, but she won’t be called a murderer.
“Who are you?”
The old woman asks the young man standing before her with a quizzical expression in her eyes.
“I am your son” The man replies in a monotonous regularity.
“Ha!Do you take me for a fool? I have only two sons and you’re not one of them.” she replies with a stubborn defiance.
The third son took a step back. Although he got used to her lack of recognition, the pain of an unrequited love never failed to sting his heart.
Have you ever thought how much better your life could be if only you could cut out certain parts of it? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to hoard all those unwanted memories back away in some deep dark corner in your mind and never let it surface again?Don’t you just envy those who have the ability to forget?
Cause those who don’t wish for an ability to forget, get diagnosed with it.
Alzheimer’s. What an ugly word. A situation so tragic that it turns comical. As the third son reflected upon the slowly fading carcass of his mother’s memory, nothing seemed funny now.
He recalled how he used to laugh at the tiny things she did. He always thought she did it to entertain the kids. Searching for spectacles on the top of her head or repeating a joke too many times made the kids laugh and the entire family played along.
But as the years progressed, laughs for entertainment progressed into doubts of concern.
“Did you read the story about a blind man who saved a village?” She once asked his 15 year old daughter. Being an ignorant girl with no sense of appreciation for the outside world, she hung her head in humiliation and said , “No. I didn’t get a chance to read it”.
“Well, being deprived of one sense heightens another. This man was so gifted in his sensory abilities that he smelled a gas leak and alerted the entire village just in time!”
“Well, good for him” the girl replied , blissfully unaware of its relevance and went back to watching TV.
It was hardly fifteen minutes later when she came back into the living room holding the newspaper in her hand. With an expression of newfound excitement she asked her granddaughter, “Did you read the story about a blind man who saved a village?” The girl looked at her with a sense of confusion. “You just told me the story a few minutes ago!” she said in a exasperated tone. “What are you talking about? I just started reading the paper now.” the grandmother said with utter disbelief.
“That’s the third time you’re reading the paper today grandma!” the girl shouted back. The grandmother looked around in confusion. That day, she gave in to her solitude and disappeared into her room. Today, her granddaughter grows up with a grandmother who doesn’t know her.
As the third son fast forwarded the years to a few years back from where they were standing now, he stopped on a familiar station down the memory lane.
“Where are you taking me?” she asks in a frail voice with a sense of curiosity and fear. “Its just a safe place.” the son replies with a heavy heart. “There are people like you there.”
“What do you mean ‘people like me’? You think I have a problem? Apparently I’m not human enough,” she replied with fiery sarcasm with a pinch of anger and betrayal. The car stopped before a house with a huge board that read “DEMENTIA CENTER” written in bold black ink.
She couldn’t understand English, yet she knew what was coming was going to be bad.
“Please don’t leave me alone” the roar of a lioness was reduced to a helpless cry. As they made their way through the paperwork, the sweet lady at the counter asked, “How old are you ma’am?”
“28.” The 65 year old woman replied. The woman smiled, “Come with me, we’ll take care of you.”
“I don’t want to come with you!” she cried. “Please, I won’t be a burden. Don’t leave me here!”
The helpless son looked at his mother with a torn heart. He wasn’t going to abandon her. Yet, there was no other choice. With a heavy heart, he said “I’ll be back within 10 minutes. You carry on.”
The mother breathed a sigh of relief, “Okay then, lets go inside.” she replied.
He sped away from the place with tears streaming down his eyes.
The brothers never failed to meet their mother. And as the disease progressed parts of her life slowly began to fade away along with the people in it.
The third son was jolted back to the present by his wife.”Its time to leave” she said . Although her voice stayed strong, her eyes gave the mask away.
“I’ll be back next month,” he said to his mother who looked at a stranger instead.
As they drove away from the sepulchral atmosphere enclosing fabricated memories, the third son felt like a motherless child.
And in a way, he was.
I can read people just as easy as a book
Their intentions are broad as daylight
I must confess, i am too quick to judge
But atleast i wont call myself a hypocrite.
Despite the well played deceptions and convincing lies
I can see the greedy mind behind that innocent face
Although you keep the darkness well hidden beneath that translucent skin
Your soulless eyes gives it all away
Yet, i cant help but rather enjoy
Deciphering all those complexities
Veiled behind a transparent shroud,
That makes you worthy enough to be called a human being
Although yet, I must confess
Despite the “apparent ” expertise
My greatest failure will be my reflection
Cause I can never solve the puzzle staring back at me.