The night is rough, the terrain tough, but it cannot forever be night;
Darkness must needs go, and make way for the gathering light!
Will we wait for dawn to arrive, and for the sun to arise!
Is not our march underway already, towards the eastern skies?
Enough have we suffered, century after century, country by country;
It’s high time we ended the violence,indignity and the inhuman brutality.
Right from birth, and through the seven stages of her worldly life,
Woman has been battling deadly dragons breathing fire,
The heat of injustice, discrimination and degradation,
Scorching herself-respect, and crushing out all her desires.
For the sin of being a girl, well before she was even born,
She got mercilessly killed in the womb, and buried in a silent tomb!
Infanticide, femicide and uxoricide, stared at her from all sides,
As did the burning of widows, and of newly married brides;
As a reward for falling in love, girls in graves were buried alive;
Auctioned off for five guineas, were daughters and wives;
Besotted husbands and incestuous fathers turned her perverted predators;
Thorns meant to protect the tender rose, became the petal shredders.
We have come a long way, but still have miles to go;
Dark clouds are already waning! And blooming are flowers of hope!
Young husbands accompany their pregnant wives caringly on morning walks;
Fathers help, nay cook in the kitchens, even as mothers work on their laptops!
Hand in hand, and with heads held high, let us persist in our march,
As our Sindhu’s win world cups, and our Shivangi’s reach for the stars!
Mrs. Gulnar Raheem Khan, Chennai