Poem | Kesa Mehsoos Hota Hai | How It Feels to be Molested

I had first written this poem in English and then translated it for a poetry recital at Conflictorium, Ahmedabad. I also got a chance to recite it at a panel discussion at Gujarat Literature Festival and at a research exhibition event conducted by Centre for Urban Equity, CEPT University, Ahmedabad. Here’s the Hindi Version of the poem.

Kesa Mehsoos Hota Hai

Hindi Version (English version available below this one)

Esa nahi hai ki mene koshish nahi ki
Koshish karna zaroori hota hai
Mene bi ki hai koshish
Koshish surakshit rehne ki
Jab ghar se bahar niklu
Kyu ki Ghar bethe toh guzara nahi hota!

Ese toh surakshit rehne ka brahmgyan muje hai
Kaafi suna hua hai
Esa karo, esa na karo

Atit ki almaari mein se
kuch kisse nikal rakhe mez par.
Kya pehna tha mene uss roz?
Sleeveless t-shirt aur Shorts
Hmmmm
Theek hai, iss baar
Kuch poora pehena jaaye

Bus fir toh kya tha
Apne andar ki Feminist ko chup karaya
Full Sleeves ka Kurta pehen liya
Aur uske saath dupatta bhi
Jo aadha mere chehre ko
Aur aadha meri chaati ko dhak le
Areee..Aur uske upar helmet bhi toh hoga na
Yeh hui na baat!

Poore Aatmavishvas se mene bag uthaya
Aur chal di ghar se bahar
Koi jung ho jese
Aree yaar….. Par jung thodi thi!
Office hi toh jaana tha
Hmmmmm
Par pehle hi signal par ho gaya
Ho gaya sangram shuru
Apni gandi nazro se muje dekhta
Apne dimaag mein hi
Bina kapdo ki meri chavi bana kar
Maze leta wo signal par khada raha
Ek haath apne bike par banaye
Aur doosra haath apni jaang ki aur badhaata…. ghoor raha tha

Mere stan ko uski nazaron se chupana mushkil tha
Wo khada raha wahin
Lomdi ki tarah laar tapkata
Jab tak hara na hua signal
Meri chaati par chubhti uski nazro ko
Mere mann.. tann se hataate hue
Kisi tarah mein office pohochi

Uss din Monday tha
Matlab Behad Kaam
Par pata nahi kyu
Sab kaam chod kar
Mene Google kiya: “How to reduce your breast size”

Google kabhi jawab dene se mana nahi karta
Chaahe kitne bhi stupid sawaal kyu na ho
Par jiss tarah ke jawab aa rahe the
Muje mera mul Udheshya yaad aa gaya
Bhai, Surakshit Rehna
Aur mene window bandh kar diya
Fir thode Open Letters padhe

“Ese gande kapde pehengi toh esa hi hoga na”
“Aurto ko jo pehenna ho, wo unka manav adhikhar hai”
Vagerah vagerah
 
Achanak se coffee ki zarurat mehsoos hui
Gai coffee pine
Meri dost ko leke
Aur usne coffee ka order deke cigarette jalai
Lo bolo
Ab yeh toh “4 log dekhenge toh kya kahenge” waali baat hogai
Aur 4 me se 2 aurtein hi hongi so alag
Pachva yeh bhi ke sakta hai “Swag hai boss”
But use parwa nahi.
Sukhi hai wo.
Par me nahi
Mujhse nahi saha jaata

Kese kese chedte hai log
Qareeb se chalaate hai taaki acche se dekh sakein
Ese horn bajaate hai jese aapko bula rahe ho
Piche piche aapko ghar tak chodne aa jayenge
Aur yeh toh kuch bhi nahi
Mauka milte hi apni patloon tak utar denge
Jese window shopping kara rahe ho
Mujhse nahi saha jaata.

Mene nariyal utha ke maar diya uss din
Jo uski gaadi ko ja laga
Ese kese seh leti
Din dahaade
Sare aam
Esi ghinoni harqat!
Kese seh leti?

Wo toh bhag gaya
Dum chupa ke
Me waha khadi hi reh gai
Darr, ghinn aur ub se bhari
Aur Mene iske baare mein likha bhi
Apne blog par

Ab suno
Yeh padhke ek dost ne mujhse pucha
Kyu? Aakhir tum yeh sab likh kar kya saabit karna chahti hu?
Haaaaa…mujhe dukh hai jo hua uss ka
Par matlab kya hai tumhara?
Ki hum sab purush…ese hi hote hai?
Ese mawaali
Mene kaha, Kya tum ho?
Nahi, me toh Mahilao ki bohot izzat karta hu, wo bola
Toh fir tumhe kyu chubh raha hai itna?
Tumhe nahi kaha hai kuch

Toh wo bol pada: Par yeh sab Likhne ka matlab kya hai?
Esi choti choti baatein hoti rehti hai, aur hoti rahengi
Tum KYU likhti Ho
TUM kyu likhti ho
Tum LIKHTI hi kyu ho

Kamaal hai, mene kaha
Wo esa kare aur karta rahe
Par me likh tak nahi sakti

“Par usne tumhe chua tak nahi
Chua kya?”

Mene gehri saas li
Poori izzat ke saath
Thuk diya
Nahi, Uske chehre par nahi
Uske chamkile jooton ke paas

Gusse aur apmaan se uska muh laal ho gaya
Mene dheere se keh diya
Chua toh tumhe yeh bhi nahi
Par shayad ab tumhe samajh aaye
Kuch esa hi mehsoos hota hai
Isse kahi zyada ghinona.


 I had first written this poem in English and then translated it for a poetry recital at Conflictorium, Ahmedabad. I also got a chance to recite it at a panel discussion at Gujarat Literature Festival and at a research exhibition event conducted by CEPT University, Ahmedabad. Here’s the English Version of the poem.

Poetry recital at Navjeevan, Ahmedabad Organised by CEPT University

How It Feels To Be Molested

It’s not like I didn’t.
I tried a couple of things
To be safe
When I step outside
Because not going outside
Was never an option.
So I thought
Let’s be safe.

Brought back memories of past
What was I wearing that day?
Sleeveless, shorts
Shutting up the feminist within for once
I’ll wear a kurta today
Full-sleave, with leggings
Half dupatta on my face
Another half on my chest
Right, this should work.

Stopped at the first signal
Nope, doesn’t look like.
The wolf-like eyes and the pan filled mouth
One hand touches his crotch
Another handles his scooter
My breasts feel shy with nowhere to go
Doesn’t look like it worked.

I reach office
Amidst tonnes of workload and shit
I can’t help so I google … “How to reduce breast size”
5 minutes of browsing and I face-palm
“Let’s be safe but let’s not be stupid.”
I said to self.

Read a few open letters
Men to Feminists
Feminists to Men
Men to Women who wish to wear whatever
Women to women who wish to wear whatever
All complex mindfuck
Going for a coffee
The female friend smokes
Another complication
High-level judgments
Most by women passersby
Men probably think
“O how cool or how disgusting”
She doesn’t care
Good for her.

I must do something
There is innovation happening
Amongst the eve-teasers is almost inspiring
They honk at you to get attention
They drive closer to check you out
They go an extra mile to drop you home
They open up their pants
Just in case you are interested
I must do something
So I did

I threw a coconut at him
At his car actually
When he was doing it
Broad daylight
With other people on the road
Just outside a good college
And He just drove away
Scared, disgusted, pukish
I called a few friends
Then I wrote about it.

A good friend asked Why
I am sorry but
Why do you have to write these things?
What do you mean?
I feel like a criminal, we all feel like criminals
When we read these things
Ummm..but..are you?
No, we respect women
Good, so this post was not for you.
But why do you write?
Such stuff happens and will always happen
Why do YOU write?
Why do you WRITE?
WHY do you write!

Okay, such stuff happens
And will always happen
And I shouldn’t even write.
Right.

“But he didn’t touch you
Did he?”

Took a deep breath
And while exhaling
I spit right next to his shoes..
His face full of anger
Unstoppable questions of rage
“Well, I didn’t touch you either,” I said
This is closer to how it feels.


They tell me I am brave to write this. While I saw no other way out. 

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