A lot of you have been asking me as too what kind of stories are going into the book “A Calender Too Crowded“. Can we have a glimpse, you say. I know explaining such a concept is difficult, so I went ahead and penned down something which though not a part of the book, is on similar lines of what the book contains … Awaiting feedback on the same.
P.S: It’s not for the weak hearted!
All For Izzat
As the sunrays streamed into my room, I felt Ammi’s hand on my forehead.
She kissed me lightly there as she cooed the morning prayers in my ear.
My lips were parched, my sight still mellow,
I wanted to call out to her but everything seemed as tightly bound as my legs down below.
I couldn’t hear all that Ammi prayed sitting on that prayer mat,
But her last words I made out looking at me were “All for Izzat… All for Izzat”
I thought I saw Abba move across in the corridor and peeked in to see my state,
No remorse, no empathy just pure acceptance of gender and my fate.
Forty days I would have to lie there I heard him remind someone,
To Ammi he added the special prayers and medications that were needed to be done.
I flinched as I saw the maids enter my room with a cloth and a bowl,
I knew that what was to follow would again make me cry and howl.
The paste containing herbs, milk, eggs, ashes or dung burnt my tender wound,
I felt humiliated and violated each time they touched my mound.
I cried just as a few days back when I was deceived into this state,
When I was taken to the “cutter” on the pretext of yet another play date.
As they held me down, widened my legs and prepared me for the trauma,
Whether they were protecting me or humiliating me all the more was my dilemma!
All they surrounded me overpowered my cries with their chant,
The pain made my memory numb but I recollect the words “All for Izzat… All for Izzat”
Later as I lay with my legs bound, waiting for the forty-day trial to be over,
I sought to be brave but then the pain was more than what my young façade could cover.
It still gives me shudders when I think of a visit to the washroom,
It pains me when Ammi explains that this was necessary to secure a nice groom.
It’s barbaric I heard a friend’s mother scream at my Ammi,
She was fuming, angry and looked at me with pity.
My mother used to such bursts of emotions explained her in cool fervor,
That the vaginal stitches would be cut once I was fit to go into labour.
Human rights, constitutional rights the lady sought to explain it all,
My Ammi still as cool announced that they all seemed small in front of the religious call!
She blamed my mother to be insensitive and there were other words, which she spat,
My unnerved Ammi stood there stroking my head and just chanted “All for Izzat… All for Izzat”
As I lay there listening to Quran and reflecting on the promises my future was to bear,
There was little I could do but just blankly stare and reflect on all I just got to hear.
There was a voice in me that too refused to concur to the logics of sexual, sociological and religious reasons given to back my state,
But one look around and I knew that I would have to accept my fate!
I could have screamed, I could have cried – sought help and for justice tried,
There were many to back me just like to pull me down,
But then again it would make my beloveds frown!
As the Quran chants around me gained crescendo,
I reached the state where I was beyond all woe.
The learning they sought to tell me I tried to imbibe,
Male female alike this is the fate they sought to strive.
The former is celebrated to enhance the manhood,
The latter is a secret guarded for good.
The ‘Khatna’ continues still amongst us Bohra’s I got hear,
About 100 – 140 million women still undergo this every year.
There screams, their pain, their struggle all remain in the room that is shut,
Where along with the women around after a point even she chants “All for Izzat… All for Izzat”
February 6 – International Day Against Female Genital Mutilation