Kajal

From the furballs of cynicism
That have collected all over me
I sometimes swap a wipe
And put it on my eyelids
On days when newspapers
And Facebook feeds
Are heavy with cruelty and misery
I put in on my eyelids
To mask the dread and knowledge
Of jawans getting being lauded
While raping and murdering
Of people drawing imaginary unity
Whilst cutting the weak one’s throat
Of D D Lapang and all his heirs and cronies
Selling away souls to grow their fat
Of the rich driving away hawkers
With their SUVs and illegal buildings
Of justice taking too long
Of the future uncertain
Of the well meaning progressives
Who tell me what my burdens are
I wear it and try to smile
To mask the roaring turbulence
And decide to meet the world.

 

i fought monsters in my dreams
every night, for many nights
no one won, no one lost,
they came into my dreams
broke into thick sheets 
that i thought shielded me 
but my monsters 
stand next to my bed 
and look at me or sometimes 
they're the very landscape 
full of faces 
staring at me as i sleep 
i struggle to awake 
into a reality 
filled with symbolic sheets
of people who wear 
the sleeves of progress
whenever it suits them
wake into a dream 
dream into awakening
but i am not alone
the drums 
of a revolution call me 
though my faith in change
is three generations slow
i will fight monsters in my dreams
every night, for many nights
but i'm not alone, they will lose
as they climb over
from yesterdays into my dreams.



 

 

 

I resist

i can write of tea and hugs

even if you think it’s trivial for me

Anger and pain are best unburdened onto words

but in laughter and joy

I resist

in music and dance

in  walking up and down

streets dotted with soldiers

or men denying my right to be

I resist

In showing my face

where people try to crush it

or tell me who i am

and what my burdens are

I resist

in anger, sometimes

in despair too

i’ll fight you through the fog

but

in love and flowers

in laughter and tea

till your tools are dust

I resist

 

 

 

 

 

The forgiving and forgiven whores 1 – Mary Magadalene

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The Bible has some very impressive women, Judith, Rahab, Esther, Jezebel, Mary, Michal, Bethsheba, Leah and Mary Magdalene, amongst many others.

I find a lot of comfort in reading about these women, whether they were real or not. However, with most of them, their strength and tenability came from a very patriotic place, a place where they sacrificed for the nation, adhering to the plan of Jehovah. Except for Jezebel, most of these women are also well regarded by the church. My interest is more in two women, who have been used as examples of sinners that God has forgiven and accepted – the wife of Hosea and Mary Magdalene. First, Mary Magdalene and this blog is about her. Although Mary Magdalene is the centre of so many cult discussions and conspiracy fiction, the controversy has always been on Christ’s relation to her, how moral or accepted it is. What I want to do is put myself in this woman’s shoe instead. Of being a prostitute, of being saved and accepted by a person who is supposedly the ‘Son of God’. Whether or not there was an illicit affair between Jesus and Mary is not the point of this writeup. Instead what I want to do is to understand her feeling when Jesus rescued her. Her confusion about his act of saving her, and her vulnerability as a prostitute. I want to bring in the sexual part of it, but more than that, I want to bring in the conflict between the possible need for acceptance and the possible detestation for the same. These thoughts are ones i imagine running in her head after she was almost stoned by a group of people and Jesus saved her by questioning the morality of the people who wanted to stone her.   (John 8:1 -11)

I’m so bored with these men. The drama and the way they use my pain, my vulnerability. Do they know how pathetic they are? How awfully boring it has become for me to talk about them and think about them. But I am also afraid, that instinctive fear of being killed by madness, like what happened this morning. How I wish I could get over this fear.. Even if this is sin, as Yahweh says, aren’t the men sinners too? What about all the kings and their concubines? But sinner as I am, this man seems to not judge my act any worse than what the men do. Finally, someone who does not look at me as a bigger sinner. Sinner nevertheless. And what? When did someone who treats me an equal sinner to men become a ‘good man’? Oh Mary, you need to raise your standards again……..He probably still thinks the same as everyone else and he just took pity on a woman.  Or he wants sex. Maybe he understands the pain of living with the fear of being stoned every day. My heart stopped in fear this morning. Or perhaps I shall find some protection in this man, who has already saved me once. I hear they hate him just as much and want to get rid of him too.  Making a living this way is hard and do I always want to make my living this way? And what is there to be ashamed, when I’ve always been a whore anyway? Is there a place for me in heaven I wonder and perhaps it is boring up there. If sex is so much of a sin here, there must be none of that up there. I wonder what the son of god, or the son of man has to say about this.

What was it that he wrote? ‘If anyone of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.’ What does he think sin is and really what is sin? Me loving so many men and comforting so many people???  Does he want to save me from my supposed sin??? These people and their unresovled sexual issues. But perhaps i can be his lover, hah! that shouldn’t be too hard now, men men men…Everything I heard about him seems interesting enough and if he actually walks on water, blimey, I would love to see that very much.

I’m confused about this man. If he becomes a historical figure, i hope they depict his sexiness too apart from this revolutionary side of his. Although I wonder if he is actually that revolutionary. Calling out the Pharisees will definitely get him stoned or crucified, at some point. Oh well, I just escaped those mad men and a stony death, so who am I to say anything. And he saved me. I am not sure what to think of being saved by him. Maybe life will be easier if a man like him accepts me as a normal person. Not someone to only go to when the flesh is betraying you, not someone who sins for a living or a living example of God’s punishment on Isreal, how refreshing! The only thing I want is to not fear for my life every minute and so I hope he’s better than his fathers. 

His family, well he has some heavy genealogy. Sons of David. That man was a bastard. Perhaps he’s more like Solomon, that’s a better one. David and his greatness. I can’t believe he got away with all that he did. Poor Michal and Bathsheba. These righteous men, they wrought such pain on women and other men and they’re still worshiped. David actually tore these women from the men they loved and killed these men. God forbid I should catch the eyes of a royal man. I mean Herod wasn’t too long ago. They think they own everyone.

But this Jesus, I hear he doesn’t really want to be king. And if what they say about him is true, then I guess he doesn’t need to be king of any earthly kingdom.

And he is hot. Why not? Will I create problems for him? Well that is something he has to tell me. But he’s definitely interested. And surely, as a God, he can figure this out.

Perhaps I can go and listen to him speak and be around him. At least the company he keeps is not too holy. He’s got some taxpayer as a disciple!

Oh Mary Mary, go meet him first and see how it goes. at least this will take your mind off the stonings! Take it from there. He might, after all, turn out just like David;  then you run for your life.  Then again, he might just actually be just fun enough and kind as his preaching says. And maybe life gets better if he is what I hope he is, and maybe the son of God sees my need for engagement beyond accusations of sinnerhood and not confuse it with a need for him as a point of stability. Surely, God does not think this a sin!


Notes:

1. This stream of thought was a result of a discussion with a few friends, one of who also wrote a monologue. A very similar but very different, intense and beautiful take on the same event:

https://thefuzzyinbetween.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/the-adulteress-tale/

2. The questioning of what sin is in this context was borrowed from a poem written in Malayalam and then further explored. In the poem, after Jesus asked her to sin no more, Mary looks up and asked him ‘what is sin?’

3. This is my imagination of what could be running in Mary’s head after Jesus saved her from being stoned.

The forgiving and forgiven whores 2 – Wife of Hosea (poetry format)

When these lives were one,

my love for you,

blind to a point of split,

your plans

your demands

for my life,

and my wants

my needs

for my life

I bowed and joyfully submitted

To your kingdom

To your body.

To your envy and jealousy.

But you’re not love,

and I took to love,

love so natural so guiltless

our eyes formed a universe

dig my nails to confirm it in the flesh

and we cry out in lust

sometimes, mostly in harmony.

But the guilt, the torment,

a jealous god, a jealous god,

so slutiness becomes my aim

pushed by your jealousy.

Ah this jealousy,

you tremble when I leave,

you shake when I say no

and you threaten and punish,

your plans disintegrate

and so you punish.

Yes I am the whore of Hosea

spreading my legs

in the crossroads.

those rabid drums

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The drums of morality,
they beat so loud and empty,

Threatening love and variety

and a choice to be free

the very little we can be.

Pinks, yellows, blues and greens,

Banned by cow urine and the

Sons of Ram.

Who walk hand in hand
with selling the poor

into the shackles of the rich

and trees and rivers
to development and India shining.

The drums of morality
they beat women into corners,

remove their voices and spines

Make them into reproductive nothings.

They keep beating,
those rabid drums of madness,

of cultural authenticity and rigidity.

And we sell our freedom

To those rabid beats!

the lack of Indianess, of hinduness

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Does it ail you?

The beauty of difference,

Our accidental difference?

In my conflict of narratives –

I find my voice stolen,

Scattered, dispersed, dissipated,

The absurd racism – is that it?

Or is it the absurd nationalism?

Am i less human or less Indian?

When you tell us ‘go back home’

Where do you think home is?

When we in turn lynch you,

In our towns –

Do you pay for the others’ crimes?

The killing, the oppression.

But what is stamped on our bodies?

Our features alone?

Our ‘chinky’ features?

But you knew, in your violence

the lack of Indianess, of hinduness.

It mocks you and strains your identity.

But you know,

this country is not my choosing,

this body is not my choosing,

My mother tongue is not my choosing

the region i come from –

it is not my choosing.
you didn’t choose yours either.

first steps

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Sometimes Saturn shows up on feminist feeds

and my partner quietly smothers his feelings

the start is no place to go

what does he say but silence?

And wives are taken years before marriage

when silence is the best way to communicate

what’s more boring and heavier than a woman’s nag

that carries trails of dead, uncrumbling walls

from the start of civilization

he carries the weight of oppressing

while fighting off his privilege

and she carries the history of oppression

while nagging him to deafness

both bearing the weight of therapists

that they’ve been taught to expect

and shedding the structure of family

that inheritance and nationalities

and their inequalities are made of.

And so darkness passes like a cloud

and aloneness fills a few days

but they crawl on to happiness

and know it will pass

alongside the muddy murk of injustice

because they love or whatever it is called

that passionate burst of hormones

entangled with care and tenderness.

It’ll pass and the cycle might repeat

but it passes.

shadows

a name i was born into,

a sure defiance of free-will,

sometimes a warm blanket,,

sometimes a depressing cloud.

and i run,

to make my own existence,

till the need for warmth –

it brings me back.

the endless cycle of dependency,

beautiful yet tough,

the constant struggle for individuality,

a chase for the ghost

of an independent mind.

charting my own course,

with clear imprinted blueprints,

that you drew with your shadow,

a necessity, an obstacle,

that I fight and cling to

all at once.