[Poetry] The Desi Black and White Story

Updated: Jun 8, 2021

This blog post takes a comic view of a social problem.

It follows the poem post about #BlackandWhitePictures movement, also known as #ChallengeAccepted. The earlier blog (read it here) touched on the ongoing movement of the Turkish women against femicide. They are protesting against the daily murders of women. To raise awareness and garner support they are also posting black and white selfies. And so the title Desi Black and White Story. Desi symbolises the geographical subcontinent.

Abuse and violence against women is sad but also a common reality. Even in our country, it exists everywhere on a much bigger scale. And what makes the matters worse is that, unlike Turkey, here many cases aren't even reported. Maybe because here everyone, including the women, have accepted abuse as a part of life. When the victims object they are told either to be patient or to quit playing the victim card. Some actually get the support they need.

Atrocities against women are at an all-time high and this is verifiable by the official statistics and graphs. But would quoting figures here change anything? No. I think not.

Until gender equality is understood and accepted as a basic need that elevates the standard of living it seems unlikely. Or if Bapu's doctrine of non-violence is adopted as a way of life, which again seems unlikely in the immediate future. But a woman can hope, no?

India is a country of diversities. Different communities, religions, languages, live side by side. There are many subsections of each section of the society and these too differ in traditions and beliefs. But strangely, the society at large holds a singular view about the position of the women in a family. This reflects not just in their biased traditions like dowry at the time of weddings but also in the their twisted perceptions of beauty and the unreal expectations imposed on the women by the educated class too. It's a topic for serious discussion. Perhaps another time.

Today I want to have few laughs at the expense of those people who disrespect the sanctity of marriage. First they demand hefty dowries and then they abuse the women who bring these dowries.

I wish someone would come up with a solution for at least some victims - the married women who are forced to tolerate abuse. What if a company comes up with an insurance product to insure the marriage against abuse? Then instead of giving away the dowry they could pay the premium in parts and get some compensation in case of an "accidents". What if we could avail financing for the marriage - not for the wedding ceremonies rather the actual marriage - that would offer some guarantees? We could stop the next instalment if... Wouldn't the mothers of these young women be somewhat relieved and the world a little happier place. At least for the parents of these young women.

To read the poem in devanagari scroll down. For transliteration in Roman continue.

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Ager shadi ka insurance hota

Jab ladli ko kar diya rukhsat

chachi ne kaha uske paas aakar

Saas khamosh lagi.n kuch hai chakkar

Ma ne socha dil me aah bhar kar

Kash ki shadi ka bhi insurance hota

Dahej ki jaga phir premium hota

Phir jo damad zyada akra hota

Agla hi installment rokliya hota

Ager shadi ki bhi financing hoti

uski bhi installments hoti.n

Jab saas beti se jhagra karti

company ki bhi kuch guarantee hoti

Phir shadi ka risk management hota

Kitchen policy ka inspection hota

tankhwa kharche ka analysis hota

har jhagre ka phir evaluation hota

Aur betiyon ki jab shadi hoti

Gham kam khushiyan zyada hoti

Har ma ki beti phir khush hoti

har beti ki ma bhi nidarr hoti

Hindi poem Kavita #thedesiblackandwhitestory
The desi black and white story - a poem