Trigger Warning: This poem contains details about sexual assault
When I was 5,
A man tried to put his hands In my underwear.
I was so scared,
That I bit his hand
And ran off.
But I couldn’t tell you, mother.
When I was 12,
And found myself bleeding
In the place where that filthy man
Had once tried to put his hands,
I thought god was punishing me
For allowing that man
To reach my sacred place.
‘Because you never taught me
About the menstrual cycle.
It’s never appropriate
To talk about it, right, mother?
When I was 17,
Riding in a bus full of passengers,
Another man tried to grab my breasts.
I was like a feast for him.
I didn’t know if I should scream,
Or punch him in the face.
I didn’t say anything that time too.
Because if the incident was spoken
You were worried,
About what people will think.
Isn’t that right, mother?
When I was 27,
You married me off to a stranger.
The first time he tried to touch me,
It felt so inappropriate,
That I almost cried.
In the haze of confusion, I just obeyed,
Unaware of what I ought to do.
We never speak of such a taboo topic,
Do we, mother?
So tell me,
Now that I’m holding
My infant daughter,
Do I tell her things
That we never spoke about?
Or shall I raise her ignorant?
Anshita Solanki is a writer based in Ahmedabad. She writes on topics related to love, heartbreak, feminism and other social stigmas.