Monday, September 9, 2013

My Pink, Handcrafted Cupboard

In light of assaults on women in recent times, these few lines are an attempt to relate to the thoughts of a rape-survivor, who is trying to regain balance between the trauma and her life prior to the incident.

It rings loud
and hollow
in its shiny newness
my pink, hand-crafted cupboard,
as I begin
to put in
one after the other
vibrant drapes
to adorn my work and play.
Layer upon layer
the shelves and walls
absorb within
the clamour of loud, soulful hues.

It was then yesterday,
that I wore on me
an apprehensive thought
in rueful blue
and paisley yellow
as I ravaged through
the pile of clothes
from a brand new cupboard
and straight on to bed.
The void inside
started to grow
as the heap on the bed
bled to the floor.

The voice of contempt
rang loud and hollow,
like a void
hitting a void;
guttural sounds
running straight into
a larger empty space
on the shelves now
and the walls
empty with
an emptier nook within,
and hooks and hangers
to put
frightful memories on.
Was that yesterday?

Some time today…
…My hospital bed
and the white-washed sheet
is safe because
an unassuming apprehension
has been replaced
by a listless, sanitised calm.

But the soft caressing
of cotton sheets
can’t stop
my skin from pricking
at the recall of rough hands
like nettle on unsuspecting skin
over my mouth
breasts and thighs
engulfing the memory
of my father’s gentle fingers
and brother’s benign wrist.

The hollows
in my eyes
stare at the moment
that led me to that space,
in which,
robes undone
mindlessly lying
where they didn’t belong
unclaimed, unwanted
yet devoured and relished.

I’ll take them
To a tailor,
or a seamstress, that’s better
to darn the gaping holes
or possibly
restitch together
a patterned, patch-work quilt
Would that help?
The nurse is not
a seamstress
She says she doesn’t know.

I wonder as I,
on this hospital bed,
in every empty moment
of ruthless, mocking laughter
my body, that cupboard
now a gargoyle
for refusing
newer waste
Then and now.

Be brave
I’m told
stay strong
the only way to be
I am, always was
and yet, now
I do not know
how to live
despite the acerbic breathing
in a prickly world
of sympathetic stares
and inquisitive cares
that dress me
like mouldy, nettled fabric…
…I find all around…
barter after barter
trade after trade
bravery for safety
courage for peace
comfort for silence
blue for grey
red for white
And yellow for an abysmal nude.

It’s tomorrow now…
I’m home
and normalcy rules
in the corridor, lane, road
outside my house.
And in the loud
ringing hollows
of my cupboard,
I shall fold the colours
to tuck them away
in the deepest nook;
I am now learning
to refill the emptiness
and order the chaos
In my pink, hand-crafted cupboard.



  1. Jas...Such a beautiful beautiful the title and i have tears in my eyes...

  2. Thank you Tipsy. The thought itself is heart-rending. One can barely feel the pain of the one who has suffered.

    Thanks for reading and appreciating.


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