A recent shortlist at the Sakhi Annual Poetry Awards by The Woman Inc. and Beyond Black under the theme of Gender & Inclusivity, the poem was written in September 2018 as an understanding of the celebrations on TV and as a response to the news about the Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. The law introduced by the British during their rule in India, criminalizing same-sex relationships, was being scraped by the Supreme Court.
Is there even a reward —
A pot of gold
at the end of a rainbow?
I need to know.
Because the conflicts humans go through —
to be ‘perceived’ normal
when they ‘ARE’ normal,
can’t be explained, only felt, in historical moments like these —
when we get to observe an energetic rainbow
parading through the bland streets, unabashedly.
When the verdict assures –
We don’t want red to replace all
we know its VIBGYOR,
and not RRRRRRR.
We don’t wish for a red to be violet
and a violet to be red;
we realize each has their wisdom
and role to play.
We resolve to be awake
as custodians of our own body, mind and consent,
and not try to enslave
others with our agenda and intent.
We realize it’s another color;
a tendency inside a wide spectrum of existence,
and not a subordinate, or an aberration,
not a flawed deviation from some epicenter of supreme experience.
That inclusivity is what we all deserve —
A sweeping canvas to paint one’s self-expression with free fluid strokes
beyond forced binaries and monochromes of regressive social undertones,
hence making this world safer for an accurate representation of the authentic inner world.
While the verdict of this now freer land highlights ‘we’
washing over the colonial criminalisation of ‘them’
how long have we denied a hue its rightful place
and denied ourselves a rising to a rainbow in its completeness?
How long have we cast away
a tiara that develops from the contrasting sun and rain
to crown us with diversity in the sky humane.
How long have people fought, not just for themselves,
but for the whole humanity to ascend, to reach a reward;
a pot of gold that could only be unlocked,
revived and accessed at the completion of the whole glorious rainbow.
No bonus points
for throwing in few select shades and stripes,
the tapestry is un(w)holy then,
so the flag waves in pride.
The march is on, this month and beyond.
For our reward, the pot of gold is not at the end of a rainbow.
Our reward is in the Rainbow.
Our reward is the Rainbow.
If you enjoyed the poem, you could sign this petition urging YouTube to hold gender sensitization workshops for Indian content creators.