Guest Writer: Bharti Bansal My Father is a Brave Man

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My father tells me that tongue is a paper
Which should be folded
For world now is a cruel place
The voices here are murdered much before they can be heard
I tell my father how
this world is a blind man
Stepping on the dead bodies of children and men who stood up
As their tongues became iron crutches
“Gurney” he corrects
He tells me how voices are crushed
By the men like Venus fly trap
Eating unless nothing is left but fear
Fear to speak out loud
Fear to shout before the mountains echo back with “shhhhhhh”
This world makes a rosary out of the beheaded souls
And chants the name of oppression
As some child is murdered and thrown in a river for taking birth on a land
Where stigma learnt to walk first, head on
I then tell my father how I have learnt to whisper
Whisper through the hidden metaphors
Making my words a guerrilla force
Fighting against those who never choose to read between the lines
How my words are peaceful protest
Against a world where a foetus is drained in a toilet
And a mother is murdered for giving birth to rebellion
My father is a brave man
Scared for the life of a daughter
When being daughter is a fearful statement
Ending with the probabilities of death demanding mercy like a lost exclamation mark
My father is a brave man
Fearing outrage in a blood
Which has always meant to be kept cool
Like the lavender room
Where hang the pictures of women
Who died for shouting out loud
When patriarchy groped them, put fingers inside their vaginas
To cure them from taking a stand otherwise called as “hysteria”
My father is a brave man
Except he fears this world for a dandelion child
Whom he has protected against the winds of change
Where the rivers are filled with blood and bodies lie dry on streets
“Keep sush because it’s better sometimes” he says
But what he means is
Paper can be folded seven times
So fold your tongue into smallest version
Before it can’t be folded no more
And then scream, wail, ululate
Because in the end
A voice unheard is guilty silence
Scratching the insides of its cheeks
Before blood oozes out
declaring war
And war kills the silent ones first
My father is a brave man
Except sometimes he tells his daughter to stand
And shout in a deaf crowd
But what he means is
“If they can’t hear, make them see”
So I pick up my pen and write…

[My name is Bharti Bansal. I am 21 year old Indian poet. I write on depression, self esteem, sadness. I have been published thrice in Indian anthologies. People can read more of my work on my Instagram.

6 thoughts on “Guest Writer: Bharti Bansal My Father is a Brave Man

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