Poem: From Bindi With Love

A piece of adhesive
Of the colour red.
The scream of a woman –
“Chakka hai ki ladki?”
Her spectacled eyes
Upon my bindi.

Artwork by Alafiya Hasan?

Kurla Station
One-Thirty,
The sun is high
My skin is dirty.
Right at the centre
Of my head
A piece of adhesive
Of the colour red.
The scream of a woman –
“Chakka hai ki ladki?”
Her spectacled eyes
Upon my bindi.
Her anger ends
Where my fear begins,
A frown stretches
Across her skin,
One heartbeat
I look up and see,
All of the eyes
Staring back at me.
Two heartbeats
I walk in a daze
Short of breath
Heart in a craze,
Three heartbeats
Platform number one
Four Heartbeats
The train waits for none
Five Heartbeats
Am I afraid?
Six Heartbeats
Of what she said?
Seven Heartbeats
Eight heartbeats
Nine
Ten.
You can’t wear a Bindi
You’re a man,
You can’t wear Kajal
You’re a man
You can’t wear pink
You’re a man
You can’t take no
You’re a man.
All these borders
Lines on my body,
So that I can fit
With every-body.
Yet, here I am
Bindi Clad
Laughing at those
Whom I make mad.
And so what if
Kurla had me beat,
At least by Mankhurd
I got a seat.

About the guest author

Abhishek Lamba

Having grown up in a family of philosophy teachers, Abhishek has always believed life to be inherently meaningless. When he was in seventh grade, triggered by trigonometric angles, he began writing poetry on the backbenches of his classroom. In the weave of rhymes and similes he discovered that with the mere act of creation he could create meaning for his own life. Since then, he has been immersed in writing, filmmaking, theatre, and rapping of both words and falafels. A student of literature, Abhishek believes in the capacity of art to empower people to do ground-breaking things. Abhishek is non-binary in both gender and physics, and so is often found using quantum mechanics to explain his gender identity.
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