“Who am I?”

She nudges and nobbles,

“A mere spectator?

A non-reformer?

But so are you!”

She sneers in obstinacy

Dares to challenge!

“My dwelling bound

by wood and glass.

Margins defined – space confined.

I have done no good

delivered no justice.

But what better are you,

Until you are the voice

of my muted resolute,

of my paralysed silence of ages?”

She pleads indignantly

“Oh woman in flesh and blood!

To me now,

decipher your callous nonchalance

to the tyranny of our kind!

Let your dainty contours

twitch in frowns

of disapproval and angst,

when the need may be.

Let your delicate feet drift a while

into the world of the wronged,

let your hands rise in their defence,

let a tear in their name

streak your face.

It is not yet late.

Your limited existence –

let it fall apart this instant.

Wing your caged spirit

hunt down the vultures

that feast upon the vulnerable.

For you are not me

And thus is the onus upon you.

Leave your imprints to cherish,

for you will fade away

into the oblivion a day.

I shall endure my subsistence

in much less remorse”





Daya Bhat has published her collection of poems in English ‘A maiden of 29’ with the Writers Workshop (India) in Dec 2013 and is currently working on a collection of short stories. She has also involved herself in the translation work of a biography and a memoir- yet to be published-from Kannada to English. While not writing prose or poetry she likes to read her favourite authors. She has dabbled in several professions like teaching, handling technical jobs at work and entrepreneurship before realising that all she wanted to do was write prose and poetry. Her hobbies other than creative writing include painting and attending writing workshops particularly to share a platform with like-minded people.  The technical background of her education serves as an unusual backdrop to her craving for creative writing. She derives her inspiration and themes from the bustling everyday life around her and couples it with her perspective.

Illustration by Alan Van Every (Featured image on the front page)

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