At the touch of a newborn's feet,
The whole earth would rejoice
As green fields, rivers, and oceans,
As birds and birdsongs,
But, baby! Please forgive us.
Because you were born a girl,
we hang our heads in shame.
The first sound of a first breath,
As it emerged from the delivery room,
We were suspicious that it was a female voice ..
We were afraid .. Please forgive us.
In stead of killing in religious riots,
In stead of selling to brothels,
In stead of pushing off into the Godavari
or onto the train tracks,
We'll now pour poison into the womb
and burn you there itself .. Please forgive us.
All the little lives which should shine on this world's wick,
we snuff with these rubber hands .. Please forgive us.
If we can get hands on an extra acre land, we jump for joy
'Cause one seed gives a hundred in return.
When a factory is built,
We decorate the newspapers with congratulatory messages
'Cause one machine can produce ten items.
But, Baby! You, who can give birth to ten more lives,
when you're born, we are crestfallen.
Please forgive us, Baby!
We are born for Voter-lists.
We are born to conduct business with human lives.
All those who sacrificed their lives for a progressive society,
we forgot them during their memorial services itself -
So, we are useless - idiots.
We are the creators of live burnings,
the hanging ropes, and infanticides.
To bury people still alive,
we're a new kind of burial grounds.
* * *
Oh sweetie, don't forgive us.
Don't forgive us - we couldn't invite
with bright smiles lighting up the whole earth,
this newborn life that will make us strong,
to enrich this earth .. don't forgive us.
I know, you won't settle for anything less.
You won't pardon anyone.
You won't leave anyone unpunished.
'Killing the live ones with
hunger, wars and hanging ropes,
Killing the unborn ones with
Scary tales of exploding population figures,
Rendering the earth human less,
With what will you make it enriched?' -
Thus you will question, surely.
With your little hands
reddened through many sacrifices,
you will bring about the days when
newborns will be invited into life with joy.
To achieve that, you will dare anything, surely.
This poem was originally written more than 20 years ago. I've heard that the recent TV program Satyameva Jayate by Aamir Khan had an episode dedicated to female infanticide. We need to examine ourselves and look deep inside - where are we going as a society?
The poet, Vakkalanka Seetaramarao (VaSiRa) wrote some powerful poetry during the 80s and 90s. Some of his poems were collected in a volume Lohanadi (River of Metal). No nonsense, cut right to the issue, with biting and caustic expression are standard marks of VaSiRa's writing.
Hope you liked it.