Poetry Month: NORMAL

-Shivangi Adani

I cannot bring politics

at the dinner table

because that's what

I learnt from my parents,

I cannot tell them how

our bodies are made

into puppets at the hands

of those powerful men

in the parliament,

how Trump in his interview

says blood comes

out of her 'wherever'

and how my friend

when she was thirteen

did not bleed for ten weeks

ever since her art teacher

slid his bony finger

down her spine and

tonight, while I am here,

quietly eating my supper,

someone is being raped

in some part of the world.

I cannot tell them how

on Sunday, people watch

a Bollywood movie

on acid attack survivors,

and say films like this

must be made more often,

but how they still stare

at the marks on the face

of the woman in the metro

till it makes her so uneasy

that she changes her seat,

how people will be angry

for thirty five minutes

when there is a

mutilated, charred body

left to rot on the streets

or when in the capital city,

the intestines come out

after an iron rod is inserted

into a woman's body,

and how the very next day

they will casually crack

another rape joke

and ask me to relax.

So for dinner table talks,

we discuss no politics,

we discuss no war,

instead, we pretend

it is just a normal day

and talk about the weather.

When Maa asks me

why there is so much of

anger in my eyes,

why I cannot be like

normal people for once,

I want her to know

it is because the moment

I came out of her vagina,

the responsibility of

fighting for a safe space

to just sit and breathe

was dumped on these

shoulders of mine

and I have been carrying it

all my life, wherever I go.

This is not a normal day,

it has never been so.

-Tania Banerjee



-Sagar Singh


Talking cats are normal to Murakami,

Marquez would make mothers outlive generations to see the family end,

All because Kafka defined a cockroach as a man,

Or the other way round.

Tolstoy wrote a book about a woman so beautifully pathetic,

that I wanted her to die,

And I cried when she did.

While Hemingway wrote a whole history between sentences,

As I sat and wondered about the IQ of Shakespeare's fools.

In my brain I sit with Woolf in my room discussing my obsession with Plath's fig tree,

All the while wondering if

some kids really talk like Green's,

Or would Darcy's daughter curse her mother for falling into the patriarchal trap,

Just because she was wearing a gown too flared.

Nietzsche was a misogynist some say,

Others justify why so.

Neruda wrote love poems,

Only to abuse the one's he didn't.

Bukowski downs that with a beer as human nature,

And I wonder if Jung was right about dreams,

Or Freud about abuses?

Maybe Homo Sapiens are not the wise humans,

But then I remember one

Who is!

So Jeeves, "What is normal?"

-Pragya Tripathi