Why should we put up

Why should we put up
Because we’re women
The drunken husband
Who blows up our money
With smoking
With gambling
With drinking
With other women
They beat us up
Our children too
They work sometimes 
But give no money 
To share the burden
Of running the house
The schooling
The uniform 
The books
The lunchtime meal
The government 
It looks after
The rice comes
From the government
It’s inedible
We sell it 
To whoever will buy
They’re even poorer
Than us 
And use that money
And our earnings 
To get
The rice
The wheat
The sugar
The sait
The oil 
The onion
The potatoes
Bananas sometimes
And if the price is right
Once in a while
Some vegetables 
The madams 
We work for
Give us 
Old Sarees
Used clothes
And shoes
For our children 
They feel good 
Doing so
We get by
Old umbrellas 
They feel good
Giving so
We get by
But that’s not all
Bills to be paid
The electricity
The gas
The cable
The mechanic 
To repair the 
Old TV
The madam
Had kindly given
Very cheap
Then comes 
The wedding 
Of a near one
We have to gift
It’s part of the custom
We borrow
Some from our
Kind madams
The balance
Our jewellery 
We pawn
To never
Get it back
A funeral
We have to pay
The Poojari 
Who prays
For the soul
Of the departed
We need
To buy
To make 
The food
For the people
Who come
To fulfil
Their obligations 
We are now
In deep 
In debt 
Our jewellery 
Now gone
The husbands
Now beat us
There isn’t
Enough money 
Enough food
When sick
We wait hours
At the government hospital
The treatment 
It’s free
But there’s 
On travel
And medicines
To be bought
They don’t like it
The madams
When we take leave
It’s twice a month
When someone’s  sick
Can’t your husband 
Take leave
They ask
If you don’t come?
Who will
Look after us?
You’ve taken advance
We’ve given you
The TV
A raise
You need to be grateful
If you take leave 
Who will look after us?
Who will cook
Who will clean
Who will feed 
Our children
Give them a bath?
Who will wash
Our dishes
Mop the floor
Wash our clothes
Hang them
Out to dry
Fold them
And leave them 
On the bed
To be securely
In our cupboards 
Take away
Our leftovers 
We don’t want to waste
God doesn’t like it
It goes on 
We have to work
We owe them
We’re honest people
Atleast until
The debts are paid
And then
The bonus!
The bonus is
One months pay
They bring
A new saree
And day
Happy Diwali!
It’s ok
We’ve atleast got
A new saree
When we want 
A day’s break
To go
For our kid’s Annual Day
We say somebody’s died
They would understand 
If we told them
We want to watch 
Our kid’s Annual Day
They would say
Let your husband go
Are they not
His kids?
His kids?
He beats them up
Whenever he’s angry
His gambling
Hasn’t gone well
The other woman
Gone off
With another man
Or the drink
Has gone 
Into his head
He’s lost his sense
Of decency
Which probably 
Doesn’t exist
Our son 
We will not pamper
We will teach him
His wife
Will be his partner
Not under his thumb
As our mother in law
Had taught her son
Our son
Will not raise his hand
Not drink
Or gamble
Or go after 
Other women
Not live on
His wives wages
We will give 
Him education
The fear of God
The respect of women
Our daughter 
She goes to school too
She’ll get a job of her own
Will not marry
As a child
She will study
She will earn
She will choose
Her husband 
Our world is bleak
But we live
To see our children
Back from school
To hug them
They’re ours to love
We love them back
How they turn out
Our sons
When they grow
We do not know
Will they turn out
Like the father
They won’t
We won’t 
Let  that happen
To another woman
Our God
Is with us

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s