silence

Shirin Choudhary

This silence is a
standing in, metaphor for both
agency and imposition
bundled up in a body
that is caught in
in-significance/signification.

This silence is
both the privilege of savarna body and
unease of a woman's body.

This silence is ugly for what implies --
in/difference
un/burdening
un/easiness.

This silence protects me
and demolishes me
at the same time --
this silence is both my
privilege and my pain.

This silence is an uncomfortable woman:
walking out of a metro at the wrong station
just because a man is staring at you.
This silence is an uncomfortable savarna:
walking out of a debate about reservations
because i had the privilege to be able to.

This silence is more than
what meets the eye:
pleasure, pain, hiding, seeking,
sometimes loving.

I am a quiet person.
I don't explain what I'm thinking,
I don't talk about what hurts.
I am a quiet person,
but sometimes this silence
does more harm than good.
To me, and to the communities
who have been oppressed by this kind of silence
for years.
To me, and to the communities
who have been oppressing with this kind of silence
for years.

Shirin Choudhary is a student of English Literature at St. Stephen's College. She was part of the KYBKYR programme for 2 years from 2014-16. She started as a peer educator, moved on to become part of the Senior Management Team of the programme, and also co-created the Gender Pages 'Zine as part of her Fellowship.