Directed by Q, Garbage (2018) is a dramatic thriller movie that stars Trimala Adhikari as Rami Kumar, Tanmay Dhanania as Phanishwar, Satarupa Das as Nanaam. The movie portrays societal violence against women from the point of view of Rami and Nanaam. One might wonder why the movie goes by the title “Garbage,” but I find it to be the most fitting way to describe our society’s misogyny.
Often, misinformation about sex, touch and consent results in harassment over the way we express our genders, over how we maintain our privacy. If we don’t progress towards openness of thought and action, leaving behind misguided malpractices based on the distinctions of class and caste, and still choose to stay rooted in misogyny, we will forever be living in a wretched nation.
So, here’s a poem I’ve written in response to the movie—lest we should witness the identity of ‘woman’ extinct—especially for the marginalised voices who aren’t even allowed to make a sound yet.
Garb (of misogynistic) age
The pile of dirt that sits at the city’s outskirts, at the edge of the riverbed, or at a mining site, thrown away,
unbeknownst to society, is a mockery of civilization.
It is not dirt, but a reflection of men’s thought:
Men who degrade women, bodies of emotion,
they assume to be her ruler.
The imperialist often assumes
that women wasted on two puffs of smoke or a plain whiskey
are women for subjugation.
The way they make women an object of laughter and lust is a rotten cause.
Here we see that one woman is shackled in literal terms
and the other by the societal ideals of how a woman should be.
As if women were wild animals that need taming.
Yes, men who fail to overpower women
see them as wildlings to tame and train
on their terms,
in their technicality,
in their unimaginable torture.
When that doesn’t happen,
when she fights back,
when the lioness is out of the den to paw at these hyenas,
these fucktards use the reverse psychology of shaming.
Suddenly, her actions are to become the talk of the town.
Her choice to sleep with a man or men becomes an instrument to bring her down,
and her guts for voicing against patriarchy.
When I was a child, my mother often told me a story of an ascetic.
She’d say he’d foretold a pandemic at the cessation of civilisation.
But she never told me it would arrive when women started revolting,
when she stops using her subjugation as an excuse to love the forcibly borne children,
when she becomes the “man” of the house.
Or that men in the pandemic would try to silence
every scream of the Banshee to save
every last morsel of his authority.
Ever wondered why even the unrepresented participate in prejudice,
following in their superiors’ footsteps?
It’s because it allows them a hierarchy,
for they oppress their women the same,
using their girls to please their boys,
men that wear money on their sleeve.
It also provides them a medium to represent a society
built on the foundation of assuming femininity as frail behavior.
They follow in the footsteps of monsters,
wishing to not miss out on the relishing taste domination of women gives.
But I feel it is naivety, to follow men who preach inequality,
for whom genders are distinct categories,
for whom neutrality is a sin in action.
And for these ideas,
a country like ours falls into sadistic barbarity.
To safeguard a notion of dead men
who saw women in their era as just a means of pleasure and procreation,
is a crime.
It dishonours a body, a being.
It is a ruthless demand that masculinity be the sole owner of procreation.
She is a hub, she bleeds.
But her blood alone shouldn’t be a mark,
a definition of her womanhood.
She is still a woman when she can’t.
Her blood instead is a warning:
if her blood could let life breathe inside her,
she can also run a stream of dead men’s blood!
This is what we see in the movie, a vengeance.
A suppressed fire roars and engulfs the man who had made captive a woman
so he may engrave upon her the lashes of his celibacy—
his uncontrolled monster who needed taming.
A woman who, unfortunately, wasn’t even ready in the first place to avow celibacy.
The woman becomes the agony of aggression and roars
back at the man, Panishwar.
We witness her restrained hate for men
eventually breathes out
the fragile masculinity.
But they both burn and are roasted in the heat,
for society to feast upon
this defeat of life against the deadly desires of Brahmanical barbarians.