A lot has been talked about female in general. Today I would like to point out the women who have for so long in the name of love and respect of their families been hiding somewhere behind the veils. When asked to those men and women, they blame it all to the culture.
If we talk about culture, a girl my age in Rajasthan would be asked to cover herself even in that scorching heat, not to mention, also to pull her veil way down till her neck as to not show how she is being tortured inside.
Quoting one of my favourite authors Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, as she says about culture – “Culture is the preservation of people. We have the rights to make it and curve it and bend it the way it should be. If women were not treated the right way, not treated as human as expected, then we must make it our culture now.”
When few of these kinds of men see the kind of women who do what they wish to do and speak the way they want to and live life on their terms, they cannot accept it. They act like they don’t understand what’s happening. Because obviously until now they have made their wives and sisters pull their veil down and shut their mouths when “men” speak. So, what do they feel when they encounter a free woman? The confused men would always raise their voice the moment women step a foot outside.
You don’t know what is behind a woman’s veil. It is only time until the veil rises and burns every injustice happening around with the fire they were holding beneath.
This poem is dedicated to those Warriors behind the veils.
I can see it in their eyes
The way they look
And sometimes the way they turn away
Somehow not able to process what they just encountered
Somehow not able to relate to what they were used to seeing
But this definitely frightened them
Maybe also like a threat that they are losing their position
A position they had built with mutual understanding
A position they acquired after they had locked the women indoors and been satisfied
Do they feel protected that way?
Then perhaps they know the power a woman beholds
That she might reign over them if the doors are left open.
The fire, the sweat, the constant chopping of vegetables
Bearing all the torture
And sleeping each night
With tears buried deep down
In their souls and pillows
Somewhere the strength was dying a slow death
The mind did not feel like standing up anymore
To make any decisions
They are making it for us
Setting rules and closing doors
Yelling when spoken against, kicking when standing against.
“Cover your body and cover your soul”, they say
“The dirt might ruin your beauty.
We cannot bear someone’s eyes on you
You are my nightingale darling
How can I open the cage for you?
How can I lose you?”
They are afraid to lose us
They know the stronger woman that lies underneath
And that she may take over any day if given the freedom
“Let’s just take away all her freedom
Let’s make all the decisions for her
Let us hold her in captivity
Let us not let her believe who she is
Let us stop her from meeting herself.
She will believe me
She loves me.”
That is all they know
They called her love, her kindness, her compassion
How little do they know
When they sit on the couch in chauvinistic groups
Sipping whiskey and acting like they know politics
With women indoors trying hard to please.
Her love is the armour she wears proudly
But one day,
She will wear it against you
She will hold the sword of her freedom against you
And she will be on the battlefield
When you turn and see
You will know how little you knew
And I swear
There will be fear in your eyes
The way you’ll look
And the way you’ll turn away, frightened!
You have not seen a woman that free
You have not seen a woman that strong
You were living your fantasy
But it’s time you know it’s not reality.
So, look me in the eye
And make me believe the man you are
The human you are
I swear I will not see a lot of you.
– VISHAKHA RUPAWAT