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NUMB: A Poem Against Sexual Abuse

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By Reeti Singh:

Numb…I feel numb through it all…
I know you’re there…I know you’re wronging me…
Flashes!
That’s all I have left in my mind…
you numbed my voice…you forgot to numb me?

You numbed my voice…you numbed my flesh,
Numbed my mind…numbed my sight…
You forgot to numb me?

You stole me-
A child!
Away from home, away from my cradle…
Cowards! Cowards are you!
You numbed my voice, you forgot to numb me!?

You thought I couldn’t see you?
You thought I’d sleep through while you stole my dearest from me?
You left me, open in the fields!
My dear sirs…it was cold, you know it!
I still can feel the cold metal of the bench against my skin…
Just as I could feel your hands…everywhere.
You beat me…the other laughed!
Oh! How it rings in my ears!

Cowards are you!
You numbed my voice…you numbed my flesh,
Numbed my mind…numbed my sight…
You forgot to numb me?

I spend my day,
Now in a daze…
All the familiar now seems a haze…
My cradle doesn’t feel mine anymore!
You’re a thief!
you stole not only of me…you stole from me…
am angry now!
Am angry now, but my voice is numb…
Am scared now, but my tears are numbed…
Am in pain now!
Dear sirs, can the pain be numbed?

Can your laughter be numbed?
Can your hands be numbed?
Can you be numbed?
You cease to feel that am only numbed, not dead…
You cease to think that I will wake up…
You cease to feel the pain I do…
Sirs, I scream and scream and scream!
But how you’ve numbed each one of them!
I scream within, I wreath within,
Oh! How you cease to pause!

The night is dark,
And so is your mind!
Lost in a few flashes, all that was mine…
Applauses for you, dear sirs…
I remember not your face,
But your hands will I ever forget?
Your beating will I ever forget?
Your laughter will I ever forget?

You left me there, out in the cold…
A piece of rag, ain’t i?
Nobody’s daughter, nobody’s friend?
Or did you think you can numb me into being nothing?
Am sorry, dear sirs!
You failed here…

The night is now past,
I sit here now, on this steel expanse,
You succeeded, my dear sirs,
I now sit bare, not bare just in front of you,
But here, on this expanse…
To make note of your deeds…
In one night, you took away my covers…
You numbed me forever.
A silent tear runs down my cheek, as I now sit bare again…
This time, on my own,
I still feel numb as I see my clothes being “handled”…
The tear drops as I am told to bend…
Bare am i…
No longer, numb, my dear sirs,
No longer numb…
No longer, numb, my dear sirs,
No longer numb…!

You must be to comment.
  1. Deepak Joshi

    Hmm … dont have much to say . It is true actually.

    1. reeti singh

      thank you, deepak!

  2. aniruddha

    An awesome work…
    Hope everyone who reads this poem feels the plight of the female society…. and cause the inception of a refined society…….

    1. reeti singh

      i hope it inspires victims to not stay “numb”, n to speak up and take action against their wrong doers. thank you, aniruddha, speaking for the cause.

  3. Sanya Khan

    Really good work Reeti. Men think of rape as only a sexual act, never realisin’ the trauma that woman are left to live with. The emotions, expressions have been penned down here really well. Hope, the message that’s been conveyed here, reaches everyone.

  4. Saurabh Singh

    nice work i mst say,… 🙂
    keep it up 😉

  5. Prashant

    Very nicely expression of feelings …..

  6. Prashant Panchal

    its a very nice creation….
    reeti….

  7. Payal Kalra

    Hey Reeti..
    a strong poem..
    But why Sir?

    1. reeti singh

      “Sir” happens to be a favorite with me to address sexists, rapists and/or stoic men. similarly, i use “Madam” or other “respectable” tag-names to address women who are lost in vanity/insensitive/pride-inflicted/etc. i hope you get the idea…I use respectable tag-names for things that disgust me. like being extra-polite is a mode of expressing harsh sarcasm. its my style of writing i guess. thank you for appreciating the poem.

  8. reeti singh

    “Sir” happens to be a favorite with me to address sexists, rapists and/or stoic men. similarly, i use “Madam” or other “respectable” tag-names to address women who are lost in vanity/insensitive/pride-inflicted/etc. i hope you get the idea…I use respectable tag-names for things that disgust me. like being extra-polite is a mode of expressing harsh sarcasm. its my style of writing i guess. thank you for appreciating the poem.

  9. sagar patil

    well……the feelings are peeled and naked ……running astream…….the expanse …….just horrible to even think being a part.

    1. reeti singh

      yes…i couldnt get outta the mind frame of the protagonist of my poem for almost a month. i infact wrote 21 of these. they are all on the same lines, and each one is as “peeled n naked” in their expression. my sole aim in writing this poem is to look the mind in the face, and to be direct with feelings. this happens to be my first poem, ever.
      i am glad there is a section of readers who like reading poems of this nature, dealt in this language. it inspires me to better my work. thank you, sagar!

  10. shrehya taneja

    it’s a strong & sensitive poem..true & direct..u wrote well..

  11. Adeena Jamal

    It is a brilliant piece. I read it twice. So well you delivered the emotions. Speechless.

    1. reeti singh

      thank you, Adeena!
      🙂

  12. kshitij

    1 of d best articles i have ever read!! gud….awesome

  13. Abhishek Ray

    Awesome Dear.!!! very touching lines..!! very good work..!!

  14. RG135

    1 read it 2months bak…its gud u put it up on blog..!!!!!!

    1. reeti singh

      thank you,rg135!
      🙂
      err… this is not a blog, though!

  15. juhi

    tears rolled down my cheeks while reading it…

  16. Ankit Dwivedi

    Very emotional indeed…. could u share ur feelings while u were sketching the poem…What all came in ur mind…n what impression u wanted in the heart of the reader?

    1. reeti singh

      hello ankit,
      i wrote this poem from the girl’s perspective as it would have been while she was getting herself examined the next day (ref. “steel expanse”). the protagonist in the poem, does not go into a shell despite being alone (ref. “Away from home, away from my cradle…”) in the city.she chooses not to sit and cry but to take the first rational action. that is, to make herself secure, inspite of the traumatizing experience, the Rational mind prevails.
      it is an attempt to present a new emerging segment of young women, who refuse to stay within the stereotype of the Vulnerable and Victimized,(one who would be made to bend on her knees and made to feel fallen). she realizes that she is as much eligible to her rights as is anybody else, and hence, there is nothing that she needs to give out as an explanation or an apology as society would have liked it, to be taking such an action of her own independent will under the rights she is lawfully entitled to. hence, she makes use of her empowered state, rather than abiding by societal “rules” and hence, insulates herself from further (medical) consequences, which are infact more fear-worthy than societal scorn.

  17. NitumJ

    WOah, girl! Awesome work!
    Its beautiful.

  18. pallavi

    well said and expressed !! this is how our society works.. and this thought really numbs the thoughts .. really well written..

  19. Saloni Mathur

    Just WOW

  20. Charulata

    Incredible words. Great expression.

  21. Nishtha

    Wow….. its so beautifully written…. I don’t have words to tell how deep its meaning touches d heart!

  22. ankita

    dis is such a heart touching poem ……. it clearly portrays the harshness towards the helpless women …..!

  23. sukrati rastogi

    this is a revolutionary poem. it is a touchy topic to write on, and a brave venture since you yourself belong to the female community.got goosebumps after reading this piece. keep up the good work! proud of you!

    1. reeti singh

      thank you, sukrati! raised eye-brows are a part of life, especially when living in a country where social norm is the law. but there are ways to work your way around such laws, and to send goosebumps up to those who need to action for and against the issue.”numb” was one such effort. thanks, again!

  24. anish

    well written, realy likd the way u hav shown concern for the cause
    n the msg touhes u sumwhr deep
    it has gt connection wid the reder,thats wats needed.
    good work,keep it up

  25. snigdha

    awweessummm…..m actually speechless….. applausess…!!! 😀

  26. rituja ravikiran

    very well written…
    the message is well delivered with proper literary use.
    m vry speechless aftr reading dis!
    u hv a gr8 future- writer!
    well done!!
    applauses! 🙂
    one of the best literary works i have eva read on dis sensitive, social-evil issue!

  27. Anirudh Jaisawal

    hmmm…….
    Hmmm………
    Hmmmmm……….!

  28. vagish

    spine-chilling!

  29. kishu

    sent a cold shiver down my back. the strength of the girl, salute to it.

  30. CARLOS LUIS

    The usage of the word “Numb” to create a very drastic impact onto the readers with regard to making the readers aware that such things happen and despite of warning continue to happen. well Reeti you have clearly brought out how a girl suffers / goes through when she is sexually abused.

    If you have heard of the news that said that a 3yr old baby girl was raped, how would you reply to this. Recently born baby who has not experienced what life is, is now left with no option to just live life with that black dot in her.

    Reethi your poem is to the point and expresses every bit of it. hope it acts as a social change.

    1. reeti singh

      thank you, carlos!
      it is indeed sad that despite warnings,awareness and the many measures taken, rapes and other forms of sexual abuses are prevalent in the present day society. though much has been done to safeguard women, to spread awareness about rapes, many NGOs have come up, the police is more or less always just a call away, however they continue to happen, and victims continue to suffer the trauma of such events.
      i hope this poem does give strength to the victims, spreads awareness and works towards bringing about a change.

  31. nigar k

    the poem was really touching. it investigated into areas which are really sensitive, but you’ve brought them out really well through your words and it is sure that they will leave a lasting impression on society and bring about a social change.

    1. reeti singh

      thank you, nigar! i hope it makes people thing and work towards a social change severely needed.

  32. Ishan

    I loved itt~!!!! wow!!!

  33. sky gazer

    you numbed me.

  34. pranav

    my blood froze after reading this.

  35. Mike

    the poem seems to be written with a very steady hand which is the scariest part. beautiful images used, well written, forces one to ponder over it. where can i read more by the same writer?

  36. payal grover

    jus a kinda speechless. its so true n it actually makes one realize how it feels being a women n goin thru all this. its not jus a poem but a realization of the actual trauma which one goes thru n its a true inspiration. A big slap across d face of those who r referred to as d ones laughing n beating…………really it is marvellous work regarding sexual buse…..hats off to u REETI SINGH!

  37. ashish choudhary

    I still can feel the cold metal of the bench against my skin…
    Just as I could feel your hands…everywhere.

    WOW…
    i read the whole thing and after that …my lapi was opened …i was looking at the window …STATIC…donno for how long this went on…but now when that phase is over and i m writing this here n all i have to say is…your work phase me out !!!

  38. rishabh

    my feet went cold after reading this.

  39. tamanna

    hello, reeti!
    i came across your poems via a friend, this is a fake profile m using. i was raped last year. glad to know there is someone who understands my state so well. its been over an year since it happened, i still wake up at at times to find my bed wet. have been prescribed with clinical depression and thought of committing suicide many times by now. finally i found someone who understood my feelings.
    would love to read more. i know now that striving on is not futile. i feel respected the way you have written the poem.

    1. reeti singh

      striving is never futile, tamanna. am proud that you came forward and wrote here.
      🙂
      thank you,tamanna!

    2. tamanna

      you replied? i never expected anyone to reply me…i tried reaching out to friends and family after the terrible incident. they stood by me for some time and then, ultimately left. you have no clue how much your reply means to me. i know now that someone, somewhere really does care. thank you, so much ma’am!! and am glad that i wrote too. feeling so much better.

  40. Someone…..

    No point in reiterating what all others have said…… Indeed, its a naked portrayal of the aftermath the most sadistic and barbaric activity imaginable….
    The lines do ‘communicate’…..

    I din read the poem, I felt it….. Tht’s d difference b/w an average and a ‘good’ writer………..

    Don’t put this pen down!!
    (U never know, it fuels inspiration)

  41. shruti

    tears in my eyes and knees shaking . you’re not just a good writer, you’re perfection. so damn precise!

  42. Angana

    OMG.. this poem… it drove me mad… i cud feel those pain again… i just went through molestation.. nd m still dying inide…. i cant imagine what i would have if i was raped… this poem is amazing and good to know that some one else understand my feelings… very very well written.. the words a so sharp.. i feel like i could tell those to my molester

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