She screamed, “Sanctuary!”…they replied with laughter

He ate his share of the prasad,
Bowed head, with reverence,
And touched the feet of Mother Durga
As he went off for his day’s work.
His friend met him on his way back
From the church on 30B Street
Where he had said three Hail Marys
Bowed head,crossed his heart
And kissed her feet.
On their way back from work
They saw a girl walking down the road
She saw their eyes on her
Nay,just her legs.
They took turns,laughing and moaning
And muffling her chilling screams
And then left her in the dirt.

Dirt will soon come to define her
In this pitiless society’s eyes;
Eyes which have judged her since yesterday
Rules will be passed –
“Wear better clothes”
“Stay behind closed doors after 8”.
As if we don’t have our own dreams to chase
As if it just doesn’t matter.
For once I’d like them to say
“Go, live your lives
We’ll keep you safe”
Instead of fucking the next girl
And then blaming it on her attire.
They build pandals for the Goddess
Offer her food,sing her praises
Then grope her daughter
Behind the temple they built.

So when you walk on the streets
The girl in front might look behind her shoulders
And her eyes might widen with fear
It’s not you, we have just stopped trusting;
We were made to learn the hard way.
And when she hurries off,
If at all you feel bad
Maybe you’ll try to understand at least a fraction of
How we are made to feel every single day.


15 thoughts on “She screamed, “Sanctuary!”…they replied with laughter

  1. I can totally feel what you just portrayed in these lines.
    Those people are insane and I just feel helpless while deep inside there is some sort of anger building up .

    You have written it very well.
    Mind if I reblog ? (Of course I will mention the source and the author).

    • I feel sick…sick to my gut. And the way they make the women feel like THEY have committed some heinous crime. No wonder they choose to hide their faces.
      And then they pretend as if they care.

      Of course I don’t mind :) Thank you.

      • I too feel the same.
        Exactly! Why are the women are to be blamed for the crimes done by the opposite gender? Women do have their beliefs, aims, dreams, aspirations and interests. And there is nothing wrong in that. But blaming them for pursuing what they want and how they look is insanity.
        When will the people change their thinking?
        Come on people, Grow up, seriously.

        And thank you for allowing me to reblog.

  2. Oh my God this is so SO powerful. Every line, every word was packed to the punch. This pretense people show that they care is so sickening.
    “They build pandals for the Goddess
    Offer her food,sing her praises
    Then grope her daughter
    Behind the temple they built”
    You are so right when you say this; I love you for writing this poem. I can feel every word of it, I truly do.

    • Rape victims are victims already without being mentally tortured every day…I cannot understand how any man can feel ‘powerful’ this way. Not just rape…just simply calling a stranger girl “hey bitch” while you ride away on your bike…how, HOW can it make these men feel powerful? How are they ALLOWED to feel powerful?

  3. Hi Antara,

    Upon my first visit to your blog, I’m glad to find such beautiful lines of poetry which portray angst and pain aptly. The comparison between Goddess Durga and a female is quite appropriate and I wonder, how these people can commit such crimes with this fact in mind.
    Keep up the good work



    • Somehow your comment went over to the spam section…hence the late reply. :)

      I find it beyond my understanding to be honest. I don’t get it…how do they not feel?

      Thank you so much for your kind, kind words.
      Much love.

    • Yes exactly…but I hate it when people just sit and say “This is very upsetting”. They form all kinds of unions and even political parties to fight against corruption (which is great!) and it is too hard to do the same for this? How many rapes are needed for them to notice that the women are dying inside?

      It is so nice to see you here ma’am. :)

  4. This is awesomely written! people wear masks! inside they are one person, outside they are totally another person! Society full of hypocrites.

    • Exactly. If you feel that “this is very upsetting”, why not stand up and speak out and do something!
      And how do these rapists even live with themselves…are they that soul-less?
      Thank you for coming here :)

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