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Asifa, My Child
By Badri Raina
The eight-year-old girl was kept confined without food

for three days and gang-raped.

Asifa, my child, I wish

I was not writing about you

But holding you to my chest.

Asifa, I wish you were watching

Joyfully as I ripped apart

The hyenas and hung their

Entrails at the temple door,

So the gods therein would smell

The stench of their complicity.

What wicked deity could

Give you those beautiful black

Eyes just so you could be witness

To your so beastly mutilation?

Asifa, you were born in a country

That did not deserve you, that does

Not deserve millions of your sisters

Either. This is the territory of predators

Merely and gods are their

Benefactors, presiding over their kills

With male delight, while the goddesses

Seem powerless as most women.

They chose a temple so the gods

Would protect them and pour benediction

Over their unthinkable evil - all on behalf

Of a favoured community who did

Did not wish to see the least of

"Their" land frequented by an

"Alien" band, although one in nature

With more ancient claim to

Forest, foothill, river, and pasture.

Thus men of "standing" made an

Example to serve your riven little

Corpse to the "enemy" as a sample.

Thus you were fed as a morsel to

Gods who these days all ruling

Excesses endorse. Pious middlemen.

Of the "national interest" came

Out thronging the streets, officers of

The Law cocking many a snook with

Aplomb at instruments of justice

To which they ought to belong.

Asifa, my child, this gibberish that

I am writing is but a weak old man's

Confession that the knowledge

Of what horror transpired upon

Your uncomprehending, aghast innocence

Can never be captured in words

Of commiserate distance, however

Blood-drenched the heart and the

Fingers that seek to reduce to sense

The infernal terror of your experience.

Asifa, angel, I cannot now assure

You that your sacrifice will encrypt

The future from gruesome rites,

But, my child, how I wish you

Would come to me at night and

Upon my chest and arm find

Home again and lose all your fright.

How I wish some god somewhere

Would grant this much miracle

To my failing human sight.

I Sent The Horses Back Home


I sent the horses trotting,

And they found their way back home.

But, I couldn't.

My legs that you thought were

Swift as those of a deer,

They froze.

Maai, they froze.

But I sent the horses home.

Maai, them monsters,

They had no horns or fangs,

Or deadly long nails.

But they hurt me.

They hurt me bad, Maai.

The purple flowers,

The yellow butterflies,

They stood there helpless.

While I sent the horses back home.


Tell Baba that I know,

I know,

I know he tried.

I heard him say out my name,

I heard him repeat it loud.


I was sleepy Maai,

I was tired.

Them monsters,

They hurt me bad.

Strange as it may seem to you,


It feels like your warmth now.

It doesn't hurt anymore.

The blood has dried

And it looks like the purple blossoms

That swayed with me in the meadows.

It doesn't hurt, Maai.


The monsters are still out there.

And there are stories too.

Don't listen to them Maai,

Gut wrenching and agonizing they are

And a lot you've gone through.


Lest I forget,

There's a temple there

Where lives a goddess.

Thank her,

For I think it's she who helped,

The horses find their way back home.

~ Mi

Will we keep this moment alive

You froze the ink in my pen Asifa,

you made my blood run cold

your face, your eyes, a question, Asifa,

these wounds, both new and old

I stare at his face, a regular man

he too was once a child,

what sickness came upon his brain,

this madness, rage run wild,

Does evil find the hollow hearts of men

and to fell it, he must die?

What hate, what lust, what drove him there?

does it live in you and i?

This shame, this anger,

this sharing of grief,

will we keep this moment alive,

will her death, her pain,

her life, her name,

remind us, always of why-

Of why there is scant meaning,

in gods or texts or lands,

in leaders and their platitudes

in our outstretched, praying hands

If we in all our wisdom,

in this land where religion thrives,

cannot protect our weakest,

their innocence and their lives,

what use then are our idols,

what use our holy books

why visit temples, churches,

go to mosques, our praying nooks,

Instead, let's look at our mirrored eyes,

for the humanity that we seek,

for the protectors of the voiceless,

for the voices of the weak,

Let's change our songs of them and us,

and create instead a life,

where our thoughts, our words and actions,

build a world removed from strife,

Where an eight year old Asifa

can roam her meadows free,

her horses grazing beside her,

in the shade of a summer tree

And the world is a gentler, kinder place

because we've chosen to make it so,

and a mother doesn't cling to a little dress,

for her little girl who's no more.

Ranjeet Kapoor

Yours bright eyes, your smile…

By Dipak Adhya

Your bright eyes

Your beaming smile

And your name

Have been carved with eternal love and passion

Oh! My little Daughter

Indeed,let you see

Your fragrance has been spread

Like an Asifa flower

In every corner

Oh! Dear! you are unfortunate enough

Your innocence was devoured by greedy insects

In secret

You know Dear

We are really helpless

In our world there a large number of insects

All are roaming with lust

And innocence Asifa(s)

Are leaving us

Now let I pray for your eternal peace

Andyou too pray for

A heavenly mankind

Without evil insects and crime!

dipak adhya

News Updated at : Monday, April 16, 2018
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