The recent Bangalore New Year molestation attacks have caused uproar across the country, eliciting horrified reactions from many. Bangalore-based poet Trysha Bhattacharya comments on the attacks and the mentalities that fuelled it in her composition Hey Woman.
Ever since the Bangalore New Year molestation case has come to the spotlight, many voices have sung in unison to highlight the growing concerns about women safety in India. Though this case is one among those thousand cases that we see in our day to day life, there is very little that the people in power are doing to make today’s women feel safe. We at Open Sky firmly believe that educating the masses is the first step towards a safer tomorrow, and what better way to express this than through a form we take pride in: poetry.
Bengaluru’s poet Trysha Bhattacharya pens down her thoughts on this incident and our society’s prejudices. She says, “Someone quite close to me commented on the recent Bangalore incident, saying, ‘But you should have seen what those girls were wearing.’”
“That hit me so bad, that I instantly took my pen and wrote my feelings down. Because nothing justifies mistreating/misbehaving with a woman (or man), irrespective of her clothes, customs, religion, or anything else. I honestly didn’t think of it as a poem. But my natural tendency is to write in a slight rhyming pattern, and once it took shape, I continued to build the entire poem in a structured way.”
“What irked me in addition to the the mass molestation incident, was those incidents that followed soon after, where the women were wearing clothes absolutely contradictory to those that were allegedly the cause of such atrocities. I wrote it in a poetic way only because I feel that it can convey a lot more meaning in very few words.”
Don’t wear that dress tonight,
Your legs will cause a serious fight.
Its lack of sleeves will be a cause,
of massive sexual chaos.
That little string that holds your dress,
Will be why, they’ll create a mess.
Don’t wear that top,
It’s why they cannot make them stop.
Don’t you see that little line between your chest?
How will they distinguish their own from rest?
That bulge underneath your top is your fault,
Your breast is the sole reason for assault.
Don’t wear that gown,
It’s the reason for everyone’s frown.
Don’t let your legs show through,
Things unfathomable, you’ll have to go through.
That low back is lewd,
Apparently seeing your back is seeing you nude.
Don’t wear that saree,
Your navel is the reason, things go awry.
Don’t wear those traditional blouses,
It’s why they can’t keep ’em in their trousers.
Showing that much skin is vulgar,
That’s why you’re their Turkish bulgur.
Don’t wear that hijab,
Apparently the less they see, the more they want to grab.
Don’t wear that burkha,
It can’t change the way those jerks are.
Wear nothing or wear it all;
If the length of your fabric is why they maul,
Wear nothing or wear it all,
Do you really think it will be your downfall?”
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