27th December 2012
Nirbhaya was flown out to Singapore,
Late last night with three air ambulances.
A cabinet decision to save her . . . but somehow a dour
Fog hangs as though someone dear chose distances . . .
Was she deteriorating while they held out hope?
Or . . . have they. . .no they can’t go so far, can they. . .
That they shifted her to keep trouble at bay?
Whatever it is, the throat feels an old choke . . .
Of helplessness? Of futility? Of an emptiness . . .
That finally they call the shots. . . but now bleariness
Catches us in its sweeping thick enveloping arms,
Peace-dreams of sheep bleating in picturesque farms.
Is it a stop, a pause, a punctuation? No it’s a pitstop
On a deadly track, where only after the finish, you flop.
Believe or not, even Shiv Sena can inspire
If not anyone, at least some rogue Delhi cops.
A college girl first detained, was threatened with dire
Consequences (jail!) if she failed to apologise – the bops
Reminiscent of Palghar’s Shaheen, this one’s Twitter
Not Facebook. But social media, they love to hunt,
Though in the streets of Delhi they miss the lunt,
Where their shit coloured uniform is missed for litter.
From litter to glitter: in Modi’s swearing in as CM,
Few notables were absent though many felicitated him.
Nitish Kumar, Naveen Patnaik and Chandrababu Naidu
Were missing in entirety and found better things to do.
While the political class seeks power with robotic cluck,
Our hearbeat is flying to Singapore; we’re praying for luck.
The government has set up a commission
Of inquiry headed by Usha Mehra, a retired
Delhi High Court judge, whose mission
Is to examine lapses, fix responsibilities desired.
In three months time the panel will be done
With its report, which my two bit mind thinks,
Needs three minutes or maybe even three blinks.
Post December 31st, when these sonnets will run
Past a hundred commissions to proffer the obvious,
By focussing on the basics so wonderfully atrocious,
That their simple abandon will make us finally
A nation. What has so far been hinted acrostically,
Will then transmute from this poetic origamis,
To a simple prescription; that’s my two-bit promise.
Nirbhaya seems to have silently protested.
On leaving India, her blood pressure collapsed
Midflight, but doctors kept her alive and nested
Till she was wheeled in, and half-day had lapsed.
Her condition’s critical now, but sadly even here,
Politics has played out its dirty and shamed hand:
Safdarjung doctors handed her to a private band,
To Naresh Trehan’s Medanta, a private belvedere.
The doctors who kept her alive, barring just one,
The government chose to sideline and shun,
Retaining their fancy for their private buddies,
Like an arty upturned moneyed nose for nudies,
That you and I are hardpressed to understand,
Quite like debating the beginning of an engarland.
Another inheritor says something asinine.
The President’s son’s (sc_ew his name)
Sexist take on women protestors is acauline.
From the safety of a TV channel it came.
Imagine him saying with the same temerity,
The very same words at the stormy India Gate,
Tempting then the predictable hands of fate,
Which would have peeled his pants with alacrity,
And whipped his a_se till blood, red not blue
Ooozed out, to diabolical laughter that’d ensue.
Meanwhile another a_se will be overdue in getting taken,
As a woman is gangraped in Delhi, and quite shaken
Must be all those who thought the detterent’s missing,
And that once that happens rapists prefer choir singing.
Mount Elizabeth Hospital is matter of fact,
That Nirbhaya’s condition is extremely critical.
She’d even suffered cardiac arrest that had
Inflicted more damage. And the apical
Possibility of neurological damage looms.
But now she’s far way and the news is slow
In coming and it somehow lacks the glow,
The glimmer is now is suffused with glooms.
It’s almost as if the agitation was her hearbeat,
And so it stopped three minutes on leaving the leet.
Now suburban prayers with candle marches.
Replace frantic agitating under colonial arches.
And now when a girl saunters to some lonely stretch,
She is cross-eyed, and sees in every man, a letch.
The 9pm Mount Elizabeth health update
Made hearts sink across this country.
Now other vital organs, besides intestines ablate;
It’s twelve days since admisson with surgical carpentry.
Fluids have accumulated in her weak lungs,
But they can’t be drained coz the platelet count
Is too low, so fresh plasma in a copious amount
Is being infused to make it climb in rungs.
But haunting words ring besides the minutiae
That she is ‘fighting for her life’, the stark entia,
Makes us suddenly question the why and when
Tracing her twelve days of ‘progress’ and then . . .
Did they fly her when they should have not?
Or was she far worse than we were told, or what?
The government’s version doesn’t seem clean.
Safdarjung hospital said ‘twas government’s decision
To move Nirbhaya; but more versions glean.
To the doctors who recommended at Safdarjung,
And Ghulam Nabi Azad, Health Minister who
Implied, that afterall Safdarjung is government too!
But the political class to Trehan, have for long clung,
And so it’s possible like good boys under instruction,
Had to seek advice from Trehan with acceleration,
And a haughty Trehan must have prevailed over
The Safdarjung doctors, now treated like stover.
Not that I claim my two-bit mind knows any of this,
But with so much practice, my Indian nose easily smells piss.
The year is slowly coming to a close,
And is perhaps the gloomiest end
Of any year in a long time, rickety, rimose
Even Dirty paper is heavy with the scend
Of a snowballing infectious heaviness,
A premonition of a permanent parting?
Or that our flock is ephemeral and scarting?
Or the fear of an irretrievable abjectness?
Now at other news, one scarcely takes a gander,
However spicy the concoction in the colander:
That Centre’s playing cat and mouse on Telangana,
Or Praful Patel’s praise of Modi’s worth four anna.
But yes we read about Sonia seeking justice for the ‘girl’(s)
For that Sonia, take a hard look at your parliamentary pearls.
4.45 am Singapore time. She died.
Yes she died. Really died. Finally.
And it was 2.15 am here, but India cried.
The news, this one time was nightly.
For twenty six nights, not days thirteen,
She fought and still stayed composed
Psychiatrically. Her face that reposed
Faith in protestors remained unseen;
The face unseen, the woman nameless,
From some village, a bus traveller so less
Privileged than the ruling or moneyed,
Was enough to get India up and frenzied.
So my two-bit mind for all its confusion, is clear about
The fact, that the rape was but a spark, to begin the rout.
But now the incident like a story,
Is through with its climaxing parts.
And Nirbhaya though an allegory,
With rapes-and-women-safety starts.
But when traced to deeper causes,
Raises questions that progressively
Culminate to answers regressively,
Beyond admin and judicial clauses.
On one side a societal unrest of classes;
A ‘lower’ man prevails on citied classes,
Through the biological force of rape,
Which becomes easy in a state with this inscape,
Where self-seeking repesentatives thrive on anarchy,
Promote class and caste divide, and rule as a squirarchy.
A telling statement from her grandmother:
‘They left this village for a better life.
Look what they’ve got’ sums up the bother.
When cities and villages blur the line,
While the economic disparity is stark,
Either by encroaching into rural hinterland,
To further the ill feeling in the depraved band,
Or when villagers move citywards to hark
Opportunity, but end up courting poverty.
And with the sleaze, the slums; still the anticity
Is lost among fellow strugglers and comes too late,
Till finally too fat a price has been mortally paid.
For sixty-five years, plaster peeling slums have gaped in this
From small dwellings, at long limousines, gliding into their plush zonation.