Monday, 15 October 2012

The Unread

This is dedicated to Malala Yousufzai and thousands of other brave girls like her who put us to shame for our callousness as they tread fearlessly against atrocities. 

'The Unread'

It didn’t hurt
When you bombed my courtyard
Charring the peepal tree
Leaving a blackened swing
On a wounded stub.
It didn’t hurt 
When you scattered the roads
With severed heads and dismembered limbs
Colouring the streets red
Pumping the air with fear.
Then you decided
To hurt me, you’ll have to chain my thoughts
So you said I shouldn’t read
My eyes were for the home
And not for the ‘western dogs’ words
My mind was to stay confined,
Inside the four walls of ignorance
Too thick for resistance to penetrate
And make me think otherwise.
And then it hurt.
When you finally made me the unread,
Wilting midst the living dead.


  1. In tears after reading this :(

  2. What terrifies extremists like the Taliban are not bombs or bullets or American tanks; it's a girl with a book. Knowledge has more power than we think...

    Aptly sketched, Nasritha. I loved this, especially the last two lines. The rhyme made it all the more striking.

    Coincidentally, I also wrote an Elfje (I'm in a form-poetry phase right now) on the same topic. Care to offer your opinion?

  3. @Zainab- I's crazy and terrifying that such people can exist..who can't even spare a teenage girl.

    I read you poem..and put me to shame! It's bloody brilliant! You have me tempted to try out new forms now :D
    Will give a detailed feedback on your post.

  4. i have read some of your articles and you do write in an amazing manner and on very relevant topics. however, in the case of malala, i think writing for her being good or bad is not your and neither my jurisdiction (as neither of us know fully of what has happened and what the motives were).....i definitely agree what was done to her was wrong....but her case was uplifted for certain reasons and it is clear to many that it was a pre-planned event to get benefits.....malala's own friend was also injured in that attack,and the question is: was she given any attention?
    (i don't do conspiracy theories, but i do put the facts and try to see if they match the news given to the masses)
    Therefore, my advice is:
    there are many unanswered questions in her case and without knowledge as to what happened in reality, how can a responsible person like you just write without knowing

    1. Hi IMFORU,

      Thank you for your comment! I wrote this poem soon after the incident happened. I was in shock, how could someone shoot a young girl? At that time I did not have the information we have now on this case. I feel very passionately about women's right to education and this kind of prompted me to take it all out.

      Now, it does seem like the Media and some of the Western nations have used her case to feed the White saviour complex. And a lot of it does seem very staged.

      However, this poem is for the essence of what is happening around the world. To salute women around the world who risk everything to get their rights.
      Whether Malala should be included in that list or not, I do not know.

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