April 13, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

PTI photo



Tanushree Ghosh




For Asifa – raped and killed at the age of eight



Your screams were heard but not answered

Your killing was delayed just to prolong your agony

They chose you for your religion, or maybe not

Either way, it doesn’t matter to you anymore


So give us some time to make up our minds

For you see child, in this world of God

Where you were brutally raped and killed at a mere age of eight,

There is a question more important to be asked:

Who was your God before you were dead?

As your little body writhed in pain…

Who did you pray to in your last hours?

For child that matters,

In this world of ours


Women for women, we for every child

Alas, that’s too quick, too naïve a stride

The men might have had reasons for what they did…

And the right Gods might get angry if we pick the wrong side


A little life lost, a brutal gang rape

Used as a pawn: some media, mostly foreign, reports

Outrageous beyond words, yet a nation divided

For there was lessons to be taught and points to be scored

They can report whatever they want and make up their minds

For they don’t know all sides…

…the histories of the land

Religion in our world makes ‘why’ trump ‘what’

So the right reasons might make this all well and well done


Some are screaming for your rapists to be released

Threatening otherwise to immolate and burn

Honor, identity, and a place in the right heaven

You don’t come in the list we stand ready to die for


Even the Govt. might not pick your side sweet child

For public sentiment needs to be valued after all

So we will fight against rape another day,

For humanity, for all children,

For right vs. wrong

But today, we will look our children in eyes instead

And pray that we have given them the right God

For that matters in this world of ours sweet child

Who you pray to as you die.






Tanushree Ghosh

Tanushree Ghosh works in Supply Chain Management in the Tech industry (she has a Ph.D in Chemistry from Cornell University and has worked at the Brookhaven National Laboratories) and is an author and activist in her spare time. She is a blogger for the Huffington Post and has published in several literary magazines and blogs. Her first anthology was selected into Oprah’s reading list 2.0 and her first single author manuscript is currently with her agent: Jennifer Lyons. She is also the founder of HerRights: a non profit working to catalyze action against gender violence. For more on her visit: www.thoughtsandrights.com.

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