By Sanskriti Pandey:
Her people are “carrying the burden of 200 years of colonial thinking.”
Her people “have been turned into dirty animals, whose desires are carnal, unnatural, degenerate.”
What better than poetry to examine one’s wounds? Arati Warrier is 8348 miles away from ‘her people’, but imagine the emotions that swirl inside of her when an Indian Supreme Court judgement criminalises her identity, and in one clean strike, lands a blow to her choices.
On 11 December 2013, the SC quashed a 2009 judgement by a Delhi High Court that had decriminalised ‘unnatural sex‘, and reinstated the colonial law that upholds Section 377. What it also quashed in the process, was the freedom of people like Arati. If this doesn’t make you sit up, nothing will: “It is overwhelming to remember that I’m still a mistake, a tired secret. I can’t tell my parents about this girl I know, and how beautiful her lips are. So instead, I whisper into my pillow over and over. I can’t explain to my mother that how her casual homophobia is ripping holes in all of my sweaters, and I am always shivering.”
Watch this powerful and emotionally-packed performance as she puts into poetry what being gay in the Indian society feels like.