Journalism in Verse – EST. 2016


I Stopped Counting

in Health/MeToo by

For Delhi, Unnao, Chandigarh, Kathua, Hyderabad, Chennai

oh ma*
I am numb, a shadow
no matter how I hug my knees
I stay enclosed
numbed, since the day I swallowed
corpses of forced desires, startled silences
sometimes the clock forgets to chime
days dare to hurtle into nights, I
sit drenched, palms down, flight ready
in a corner behind a dead door
the footsteps of each day, tense
and too loud
I sit wooden, still always waiting
waiting for the chariots of moonlight
sometimes ma
you forget about me
I feel you ma
you and your hustle bustle in the kitchen
gur with ghee, sizzling hot
your pallu* tucked tightly at your waist
oh ma
that night
was their feast ma, that night
they were so many
many mouths
many hands
many men
many needs
secreting pheromones
as they came
I stopped counting,
they masticated, animal and prey
my face, breast, thigh, neck,
orgy state of hunger, my finger
was hurting, ma
I stopped counting at
nine, but there were many bilious men
uninterrupted butchers, they slept
and snored afterwards, sprawled
I bit myself, and my wounds
my bleeding tongue and ran
and ran
and ran
and ran
till I saw the bonfire
it was Lori*, wasn’t it ma*
I love gur with ghee
                  did you ever
                  feel raped
as you lay outstretched
did you sometimes quiver
when he exited his manhood

I love gur* with ghee
sizzling hot on the surface

*ma – mother
pallu – edge of a saree
gur – jaggery
lori – a bonfire festival symbolic of good thriving over evil


Kashiana Singh is a management professional by job classification and a work practitioner by personal preference. Kashiana’s TEDx talk was dedicated to Work as Worship. Her poetry collection, Shelling Peanuts and Stringing Words presents her voice as a participant and an observer.

Photo by Himanshu Singh Gurjar.


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