Like ghosts passing by day and night
Each day we come into each other’s sight
In the train stations of our life
No sindoor; you aren’t anyone’s wife.
Talcum on your face, kohl-lined eyes
Bindi on forehead, a walk that defies
The world and its ways; all your needs:
A man, a bedroom, a kitchen, some threads.
In the search for this ersatz world
You don’t know why the world is cold
For your sweetness that never fails
You must suffer the men who cavil.
My advice: Beware of their devious ways
They rape with eyes, whistle their life away
They blackmail, lie, promise to say the vow
And then go looking for their wild oats to sow.
They would touch you in the crowd
Pinch where it hurts, make gestures crude
Or, stalk you, blank call you, write obscenities
In toilets, trains, anywhere they can print lies.
Through storms and floods your train must pass
Your phone’s no comfort, no, even in first class
No machine can help against nature’s fury
Even when tears make your sight turn blurry.
This 8.30 a.m. train’s a vile place to be
Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you, you’ll see
And when you are smarter, your world more settled
Remember this day, and the verse a fan composed.