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Mainstream, VOL 61 No 51 December 16, 2023

Ahimsa’s Song

Saturday 16 December 2023, by Sagari Chhabra


Bring women to the table
we said,
you will get the wellsprings,
of motherhood and sisterhood,
the fragrance the world has been denied,
for we have always relied
on men, guns and oil,
while we women are clean, unspoiled.
You have kept us away
from our share of the sun,
you men have led the dance,
had all the fun.

The women came
full of good intentions
to be the bedrock;
flowers falling on rock,
become rock,
whose blood is red,
as readily useless
as any man’s blood shed
in Ukraine;
what the lady did in
Guantanamo Bay
did it lay
in the realm of the humane?

The nation state demands
fossil fuels, arms and territory,
to have this we must wage war;
women may merrily
join the gore;
but must we stoop to use
the master’s tools once more;
obey the fiat of the master’s will,
build the master’s house
at his willing,
continue the endless slaying and killing;
look the blood on our hands
is red and already so chilling!

Can we stitch by stitch
embroider peace by design,
or must we be consigned
to a warring furnace,
with shoulder pads, a rifle
and an ego ablaze,
that demands we suppress
the feminine spirit,
bring out the animal instinct
for the market to thrive;
perhaps this is yet
another imperial drive,
it’s for us to feel and find
ahimsa’s ways to survive.

Sagari Chhabra
14th December 2023
New Delhi.

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