Here’s a poem based on a true story on how Harsh saved a woman from being burnt alive in the name of a superstitious ritual named ‘Sati Pratha’ that is still prevalent in some remote villages of India. He penned this poem to spread awareness; a verse about brutality to women, in Different Truths.
Yesterday, I had a chance to visit my village. I saw
A woman with her face covered with a rag of black fabric
Running disoriented on the dusty dumpy streets
‘An unfortunate widow,’ she called herself, when I asked who she was.
“What happened to you?” I queried “Why have you hidden your face?”
She fled far away before I could utter a word more
So desperate, desolate and dreary she appeared
That thundered my soul to the innermost core.
Soon I heard a commotion as if a large crowd is nearing
I saw hundreds of villagers running towards me
They were holding fire torches in their hands
“Golu, did you see a woman with black fabric mask?”
“Where has she gone?” questioned the sarpanch[i].
“Why?” I asked, “Why are you searching her?”
“Golu, we don’t have enough time to talk. Tell us where is she?
Else we will all become victims of Almighty God’s rage.”
The sarpanch continued, “Brought death to her husband,
She is a cursed woman. Better hand her to the Goddess of Fire
To set her free from the curses,
Or else she would attract demons to hunt the village.”
I panicked hearing such heart rendering superstitious talks
Why women suffer so much for things they never do?
Why is a man not burnt alive when his wife dies after marriage?
How can people still have faith in such superstitious customs?
A plethora of questions surrounded me.
“She ran away in this direction,” I pointed my finger in the opposite direction
All villagers have gone, leaving tears in my eyes.
That woman came again to me but now smiling with hopes in her eyes
I offered her a proposal to come and live in my city at a rent that I’ll pay
She thanked me with glittering eyes.
And with a serious look, she asked a soulful question,
“You saved me.
But, who will save other women, like me out there in the world,
Tortured, threatened, strangled, burnt alive and
Murdered in the name of so-called rituals?”
[i] Village headman
©Harsh Vardhan ‘Samrat’
Photos from the internet.
#Poem #SatiPratha #Rituals #DifferentTruths