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  • Devika Gupta


Hindu Brahmin with a Muslim name,

She was born to defy destiny.

She fretted over the fas-fis of her silk dupatta

flowing like the Brahmaputra,

the Ithmid around her eyes dancing with every moment.

Her dark eyebrows were wings to a big red dot,

and her hair fell down like roots of the peepal tree.

Dusky little dainty little dreamy little something.

It often felt like she craved care

Perhaps, of a man who would throw veils around her

which only he could enter.

The undertones of her profound speech

about being powerful like Durga

told them of it.

The puny buildings of society tried to wash over

the span of her bejeweled minaret,  

atop which she screamed the ideas that were only her own

echoing the same indifference.

She spoke of Unity

Rich with visions about tomorrow

Wrote volumes, made paintings

that conveyed extraordinary desires

They laughed at her folly.

So she threw herself in the books

And found a Vedic Allah

They pulled out her hair

And cried Mashallah. 

And the Hindus, they disowned her

Set fire to her ideologies and burnt her arm

And chanted Ram Ram!

But the way she rose made a thousand phoenixes tremble

Half-torn hair and charred black arm

And to everyone’s surprise she plunged her hands 

into two containers of colored powder

Smearing it on her head, her breasts and her feet

And she grinned with her partially colored teeth

at the pygmy humans who never learned to rise.

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