The following poem by Shabana at Koonj and at Barakah’s is going into my “Favourite Patriarchal Poems” archive.

Here’s a wee taster, my fave bit:

The day after her wedding, her husband’s
buddies told him –
“Don’t smile too much.
gorbeh kushten is the way to go.
Haramzadiyan, they get comfortable, and
then it’s trouble for your pocketbook.”

Her husband measured paisas for her,
snarled if he caught her stealing sugar
for tea;
“if i let her be free
with sugar today, she’ll be free with gold.”

If she stared at the silvery moon
that poured cool ardour through window bars,
he wanted to know which yaar it was
standing in the street for her.
– “Is he the one who fathered not one,
but two daughters that I have to feed?”

Read it in its entirety at Nisaa

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