neelwrites/flash/poem/23/01/2020

20160902-0000001-serumcreme-02092016

BEHIND THE VEIL
By Neel Anil Panicker

My arms are wrapped around my frail self
My face is hidden
my eyes barely visible
through the slits of my entwined fingers
I stare at the world outside
A world which casts evil eyes on me
…slut, characterless, bitch, witch, fallen woman

—that’s they know me as
of late there’s another name they brand me with

I’m anti-national, terrorist, traitor, India hater

—thanks to my brand managers
I’ve got a few more split adjectival appendages

Earlier, they used to visit me in night’s stealth
Come daylight I metamorphose into anti-national

They are a sham

they who continue to shame me with their lame excuses
I am their target

not ‘coz my name’s beautiful

but because it ends with
Bano.

What’s in a name?
a lot if you ask me

It determines
whether I’m a nation loving, patriotic prostitute,

or another scum of the earth

—a dirty  characterless, India hating, unpatriotic anti-national.

They are right
‘coz they are in power
they know who is moral and who is immoral
who is national and who is anti-national
who is a good girl and who is a bad girl

As for me, I prefer to hide behind the veil
and watch the world figure out

what I am.
#neelanilpanicker #poem #realisticpoetry #political #India #muslim #CAA

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