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Saturday, January 2, 2016

A heart-breaking story

Intersectionality studies are more important to understand Gender than I thought! A heart breaking poem by Zoya Zaidi is what I wish to share in this post about the Devadasi system.

Devadasi’s Saga

 I could hear the temple bell
Ringing in my ears,
The day I was born
To an unwedded mother, or rather
My mother was “married” to the temple!
The Temple was not my father!
I could hear the temple bells
Ringing in my ears…

I could hear the temple walls,
Heaving sighs in the dead of night,
Sighs of satisfaction…
I could hear my mother’s sobs,
Intermingle with the sighs,
Sighs of dissatisfaction…
As I slept on the cold-rough stone,
My cradle in the darkest chamber,
Where light hardly ever entered,
I missed a father’s loving touch,
When I asked my mother,
She said:
The temple was my father!

Then one day, through the
Half shut doors, I saw:
The priest heaving and hawing,
Full of sweat…
The pained surprise in my mother’ eyes,
(On being so exposed),
Silently beseeching me
With helpless tearful eyes:
“Go away! You’re still too young!”

But one day, I grew up!

I felt the “touch”,
A creeping crawling, lustful touch,
The expression in the priest’s eyes,
Matched the touch,
As he held me in his clutch…
Nausea welled up in my throat:
It was not a father’s touch,
I could feel it in my innocent bones…

Then Another, and Another…

Now, I am “My Mother”…

Like her, I do not know,
The father of the baby in my womb…

Like my mother, I am going to
Tell, my daughter:
“Temple is your father!”

This has gone on for centuries,
And still goes on…
This will go on forever…

I am the Devadasi of the Temple…
Temples may crumble…
I will go on