Hushed

The hurried steps that echoed on the walls travelled through the narrow streets. Ever so often, the loud noise of a rushing motorcycle would interrupt the otherwise rhythmic sounds of the summer’s night. She was however, undeterred on her juliet balcony, eyes drawn to heaven bound, returning the smile of the crescent moon, and marvelled at the stars winking down to her.

Her thoughts were interrupted by the loud commotion that erupted across the street. A small crowd gathered as the neighborhood bully, as usual fed his pride by beating up his new victim. The slender figure, pinned down, receiving blow after blow, cried for mercy. His failed attempt to block the attacks was evident from the stain of blood being painted on his shirt. To the contrary, everyone else was having a field day watching a live fight.

She could not take it anymore. She screamed, “Hey you! Get off of him!”

And that was when her mother dashed to the balcony and asked her, “What’s going on? Why are you shouting?”

“That bully is beating up that kid. And everyone is gathered for entertainment,” she replied. “We have to stop…” before she could finish her mother interrupted.

“No! It doesn’t concern us. And young lady, you shouldn’t be shouting.”

“I’m not shouting. I’m trying to help that poor kid,” she blurted out in anger.

“That’s enough!” her mother snapped and walked away.

She swallowed her retort and kept staring at her mother’s receding back. Tears glistening from her angry eyes.

Is it wrong for a girl to raise her voice no matter what is going on in front of her, for she might be portrayed as being less ‘lady-like’ and hurt the delusional dogma?

Is it wrong to stop the brutality inflicted on the helpless because it does not concern you?

Often times we are being hushed for various reasons. And most of the times for speaking the truth. If this is wrong, then what is right?

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The Puppet Master

“My dear boy, you only have to…”, whispered the Master.

And the boy listened. Listened intently. Breathing in the aroma of the brewing plan. Savouring each and every word. The boy was like a connoisseur. Swishing every word around his mind with proper care. Tasting the hidden subtleness, picking up the precise ones, and weaving the web of deceit. He was the chosen expert, hand picked by the Master.

Perfect! Now he was ready to cast his net. To charm and play with the frail hearts. He scattered the carefully fabricated words. As anticipated, the crowd roared up with fury. Blindly gobbling up and connecting the dots. Equipped to spread the fire of hatred. And he smiled foreseeing his advancement.

Covertly behind the curtain, the Master was in jubilation. A victorious smirk on his dark face.

Are you a victim of partial evidence? Have you ever dared to question the mirage in front of you? Has your mind been decimated by tyranny?

It is time for you to wake up!

Entangled

The arrogant spring,
Boldly flaunts her blossomed skirt-
Forgets the winter.

In resurrection,
Humble grass arise with glee,
Beating countless crush.

Reigning entire world,
Day plunders in manifold,
Blinding everything.

Fearful timid dawn,
Ebbing into nothingness,
Desires for the night.

Ocean swells with pride,
Lifting up her bosom waves-
Dies in fine white lace.

Never tiring rill,
Quenches traveller’s dry lips,
Beaming under praise.

With a flitting touch,
Zephyr floats for her own whim,
Scoffing at tawdry.

Men in his naivety,
Ventures to capture the world,
Astray, full of greed.

The Unexpected Helper

Trying to hide from the seeping cold, her hands buried itself deeper into the pockets of her coat. Among the disarrayed crowd, she was waiting impatiently for the bus. Like everyone else she was anxious to flee from the crispy cold and find refuge in the warmth of her home.

Her thoughts were shattered by the approaching ruckus. Several heads turned. A rebellious group of teenagers approached. Their sure steps occupied the pavement. Grown up too fast, dressed to look like anything but decent, and surely up to no good. A reflection of annoyance attacked them from all sides.

The boys stopped just an arm’s length from what appeared to be an invisible object on the side of the pavement, but not anymore. One of the boys, as if almost out of character, spoke up very kindly.
“Excuse me sir, this is for you.”

Startled, the balled up layer of rag sat up. The boy carefully handed the old man a box of food and left.

From what she saw, it was the first time anybody noticed the homeless man, who was silently enduring the piercing cold.

On her way home, thoughts started to jostle back and forth. In conflict with her. Cursing her. Have we become so judgmental that we jump at the mere appearance of someone? Are we so occupied with our own greed that we do not even notice the helpless right in front of us?

Questions echoed, refusing to yield, battling for an answer. The swarming facade of good surrounding her was almost smothering.

Think about it.

Girls Like You

Adrenaline dashing through her system, she can feel her heart pounding in her chest. Reaching this particular corner of the street was always like wading in quicksand. She can feel her bravado evaporate into thin air. Suddenly her path was crossed by none other than the gang of thugs who roam around that place.
“What’s the hurry girl?”
“Why do you play this innocent game of hard to get?”
“Common, I know girls like you…”

The life of an orphan was never easy. The day she married into a well off extended family was a dream come true. Unfortunately the dream was short lived. It was difficult to get away from the preying eyes of her husband’s uncle. His words were like the sting from a scorpion.
“You behave as if you don’t know what you are doing.”
“With your prim and proper ways, you think you are so pious?”
“Oh I know very well, girls like you…”

Attending university was the road to achieve another milestone. She met a boy at the orientation. Their friendship bloomed and they became best buddies. To her, he was a gem of a friend. One day she was having lunch at the cafeteria when she overheard a bunch of girls talking rather loudly.
“She thinks she can fool us by hashtagging their friendship.”
“I know her type. They take delight in flirting with every cute boy in range.”
“Oh yeah! I know girls like her…”

I am not implying every corner of the world is reserved by forceful thugs. Neither am I saying all the extended families are full of venomous scorpions ready to sting. Nor are universities crowded with snobbish girls who doubt the friendship between both sexes. I am simply saying that there are people who stigmatize and label girls as, “girls like you”. Being independent, carefree, dressing in a particular way, being friendly towards the opposite sex, must never be listed under a certain category. People with this kind of prejudice need to wake up.

Since home is the first school, parents have a huge responsibility to mould their children to be respectful instead of being preconceiving and discriminating. A girl must never be viewed as an object to whom you can dump all your unwanted filth.

Let it never be the case that one day, we doubt the upbringing of our children to the extend to which we blame ourselves, and be held accountable for enabling the stigma of “people like them”.