Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Stuck for Life

Where did we go wrong? When did we stop feeling compassionate and emotional about things that mattered? How have we become so engrossed in our materialistic comforts, that we have built a fortress of silence around us? Women and children are being raped and sold. They are being subjected to oppression and exploitation in unmentionable ways. 
Sunitha Krishnan was gang raped by 8 men when she was 15. An anger in her made her work for hundreds of victims all around India. She is 40 now and has co-founded Prajwala, or "eternal flame", a group in Hyderabad that rescues women from brothels and educates their children to prevent second-generation prostitution. 
Prajwala runs 17 schools throughout Hyderabad for 5,000 children and has rescued more than 2,500 women from prostitution, 1,500 of whom Krishnan personally liberated. At its Asha Niketan center, Prajwala helps young victims prepare for a self-sufficient future. 

Look into those eyes
and read the fleeting words
etched in her sorrow’s mist,
Words that quickly liquefy
as tears flow down her cheek.

She cries out in pain,
her words echo in my brain
“Don’t label me thus,
I am no slut”
But labels are such
with adhesives so firm
stronger than the clasp
of the dying young.

Her voice rose shrill
above stern content ones,
shrieked words of protest
bounced right back at her
from closed bejeweled ears.

Closed eyes, closed ears,
Closed minds and closed lives,
We live on, nothing touches,
nothing allowed to penetrate
our safe fortress of silence.

Labels stick, stick so hard,
and beam out spotlights
to attract the hyenas,
Knocks on her door
that guides in the darkness.
Now she  is just a vagina,
that may cry and bleed.

No one hears
since no one cares.
The dumb and deaf world
its screaming shame hides,
gagged and chained
in the narrow dark  lanes
of  its sparkling cities.

© Nalini Hebbar/openmind/2009 - all rights reserved
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Sourcebound said...

When people run after the stars the phoenixes are forgotten.

Lakshmi Rajan said...

What do i say? Am just numb for a moment.. when most would have gone into a shall... here is someone who rose like a phoenix inspite of the barbaric act against her. Inspiring... We all sit behind our safe zone in computer and rant about everything in words but to make change in real, be a survivor as well as a guiding angel for many others is something highly admirable and commendable.

magiceye said...

palpable poignancy


salute sunitha krishnan

Rajesh said...

It is more to do with people can get away with this kind of in-human acts with no or small punishment. If the laws are stringent and justice is quick these acts may come down. No mercy should be shown for such acts.

Hitesh Rawat said...

this is one of those things...which will always make be ashamed to be called as Men ........being a part of this society.....

she has silenced me atleast......have no words for her....

Unknown said...

Such exploitation of lives is cruel and hellish.Perpetrators of such crimes must be dealt with and not allowed to go scott free.

Nalini Hebbar said...

What Sunitha asks is for us to open our minds to our society to them and not brand them as they are the victims, not the perpetrators. Thank you all for responding to this sensitive issue.

Rajendra raikwar said...

I will surely come back for more