Fair enough.

I wrote this poem back in 2010 when someone I knew personally was murdered or killed for honor, as the prepatrators of this heinous crime had put it. It has been two years to that day and such satanic acts continue to happen all over India. Strict laws, police vigilance, social activism..nothing succeeds in bringing down these cold blooded murders. The only solution I see is in the root cause of this problem, a mass cultural delusion that the honor of a family is in who (and of what caste/creed/religion/gotra) their children marry. What we need is a basic rethinking of principles. People need to realise that essentially fatal violence against a member of their own family is no more reputable or honorable than marriages they deem as wrong and sinful. And perhaps, a look at the situation from the victim’s eyes would help them realise the gravity of this criminal offense and maybe, just maybe, soften their stone hearts.

Blood..red blood
the same red
of the roses
he got me the day we wed

Red was all over that day and today too when all is over.

His hand are
firmly clutching mine,
Just like they were
back in that time.

Our fingers still
fit perfectly in the spaces.
I can still see him
smiling with his braces.

Stills from the past
skimming.
Emotions ceaselessly
brimming.

And the scene now playing is
of our first touch.
His Dravidian dark against
my Himachali paleness.

There goes the graduation
day past my eyes.
New lives for some,
for some others sad goodbyes.
We both took the Hippocratic Oath that day.
We took our own roads, headed the same way.

Now the train crawls out of this station of obscurity
Into Dream Central, worth all dreams
Our hearts beating in rhythm, fast
His hands on mine on the train’s iron cast.

When Anatomy lectures set
this chemical explosion off,
we know not.
Thigh dissection, bone re-arrangement
and pathogens-
every passing second,
only closer we got.

In this picture, we are exchanging
garlands and promises worth a lifetime
Just Us and the priest
and wedding bells that chime.

When life became an extended honeymoon
There was love and more love
where now there is only doom.

And now I can see our girls
when they were younger.
Their innocent,blank stares
and cute pig tales.

Frames switch quick
the machinery goes tok
tik- tok- tik.

It has been 5 years
since the graduation day,
things are going only one way,
our way.

BUT,

Just today
some people knocked on the door
When I did not answer their call
they knocked and they knocked more
I hide my fairies
In the closet.
And pressed 1- Sree’s speed dail
to make my last call
Deep inside I knew we’d lost it all.

A good fight
and a number of tries
Later the hinges lost.
All I could see was
my brother, some goons
and unending frost.

Sree’s calm voice on the phone
tells me to run or to hide
His voice, so assuring,
so warm
I can feel him here, by my side

But now the damage is done
where there was so much happiness
now there is none.

The machinery in the ambulance
and the siren hurt my ears.
All I want is to close my eyes
and go back in the years.

He is holding my hand very tight.
Whispering into my ears,
“Baby, everythings gonna be alright.”

But its fair enough,
Isn’t it?
I killed my kin’s honor
and their honor killed me.

* An honor killing (also called a customary killing) is the murder of a (typically female) family or clan member by one or more fellow (mostly male) family members, in which the perpetrators (and potentially the wider community) believe the victim to have brought dishonour upon the family, clan, or community.

Indian Girls often face the wrath of their families and at times communities for marrying without their families’ acceptance or outside their caste.
In North India, mainly in the culture of ethic Rajputs – who despite the forces of modernization and the pressures of decolonization, subscribe to medieval views concerning the “preservation” of perceived “purity” of their lineage- girls are killed every other day in the name of honor.
This is my small attempt at making people aware of such barbarian acts taking place in our own country, our own state, our own city and at times our own family.

Dedicated to Sangeeta Thakur and all those innocent girls who have fallen prey to such inhuman acts.
May your soul rest in peace.