The Mane

Sheep underneath the skin of a lion
Yet, we wear an aura of conceit
Around our neck,
Like mane, and think
We’re royals.

We carry armaments in vigour
Deltoids broaden, biceps puff up
From vanity
Than strength,
It’s our jungle to rule, after all.

We have sharp claws and
We wear a shimmering grin,
That suits us
As kings,
We like to believe.

We set out for a kill
Target easy preys
Nails come out from
Hidden claws,
From the joy of pounding on soft flesh.

Free spirit are to be tamed,
Squashed at our feet, and
As we write our rules,
Like that parting of hair on their forehead
Of whom, we set out to conquer
And our mane flutters in soft wind.


When I was coming back from London last night in a train, a discarded evening newspaper caught my attention. There was a big news where a renowned British photographer Hazel Thompson has revealed after a decade of research that in Mumbai how girls from 11 years of age are locked up in cages without food, water or light, till they break and open up to prostitution. The actual article can be found here online.

I am a proud father of a beautiful girl now. My sister is entering the new phase of marital bliss tomorrow. I don’t know where to hide my face today. This is my small note to the cruel world in protest and shame. I am linking this poem to dversepoets OpenLinkNight 126 so that my word of protest reaches a wider audience.

From the newspaper

From the newspaper


43 thoughts on “The Mane

  1. Abhra, As an Indian woman & mom of a daughter, I join you to hang my head in shame.
    Imagine seeing this report in a foreign country where we are ambassadors of India… How shameful. Wish something is done to stop all these crimes. When can we give our girls the dignity and life they deserve?

    • It is very shameful indeed. What is more alarming that this happens right under our nose, and people say Mumbai is safe? This information is released in a book and our government has to stay silent?

  2. No words to express the grief and shame ..and yes ..these sort of news makes me furious and enraged ,more because I feel myself helpless as I can do nothing to improve the conditions of these girls….living as sub-humans…

    • Sadly no – I wonder how come the mayor will have no knowledge and a London journalist comes and find this out. I am surprised why can’t we take action ourselves. Perhaps some of us men really enjoy what is being done.

    • I am not just sad or frustrated – I am ashamed because probably no one wants to solve problems. This is happening in Mumbai – an outsider knows, the whole world knows and what are the people in power doing about it?

  3. I feel sad when I read news like these – girls caged & turned into toys for pleasures of men ~ Thanks for highlighting this issue ~ Wishing you Happy Sunday & cheers to your family ~

    • I feel sad too – but this one made me angry as well. People in Mumbai claim that it is safe for women and this happens right under their nose and what is local administration doing about it? Why can’t this be eradicated from the face of the city altogether or is it that men are feeling comfortable at this inhuman act. Where is the real mane – that thought made me write this poem. Sadly, it is not big enough a stir.

  4. I feel the emotions in your words. It’s just terrible. I can totally understand your feelings. It’s more scary than anything. No one is safe anymore. Do you know if any action was taken?

    • This is terrible and I am angry that we say so many things about our country and right under our nose in Mumbai all this is happening and we doing nothing about it.

      Hazel has written a book and last I saw that she is doing a fund raiser to get some girls out of the racket. But is that enough? If you can please share the same, spread the news.

  5. this is terrible… thanks for giving them a voice.. it makes me angry and beyond ashamed to see how a human being with a heart and brain can do something so terrible to someone else…

  6. its stomach turning…what we allow to happen…if by nothing more than our unwillingness to do something about it…i watched a documentary earlier this week…and i support a group that buys out contracts of those in slave trade, teaching the women other trades to help them sustain….ugh…good on you for writing this…

    • Yes, it is Brian – there is a little protest I can do with my words, but I decided not to stop shouting….not stop from making noise.

  7. This is poetry put to its finest use – to speak for those whose voices are not heard. That this is happening anywhere in the world is appalling; I know how I feel about the fact that young girls are being trafficked into the UK for the same reason – it makes me feel sick in my stomach, heart and spirit.

  8. What a horrible situation you have written about, Abra. Who knows if this is the only place something so horrendous is happening. It makes me ill to think that these innocent young girls are treated like this. It pains me greatly. I hope the world takes notice and insists upon a change. There does need to be a public outcry.

    • Yes, it is indeed horrible and alarming. I decided to shout, I decided to make this a public outcry – I am sure there are so many voices from those locked rooms who want to be heard and I wanted to be their voice.

    • Thank you so much Bjorn. Yes, I believe that is the case – why else it was kept hidden all along and it took a foreign journalist to uncover the truth.

  9. I have read of this too Abhra and your words are the perfect metaphor.
    Sadly, as a species, we are far less advanced from our primeval state than we like to believe.
    Anna

    • Thank you so much Anna. Yes, you put it very correctly – we are far less advanced from our primeval state than we like to believe.

  10. Disgusting!!! I haven’t read something like this till now in Indian Newspapers. But this is just unbelievable. To imagine how low humans can get just for greed and lust. Appalling and Shameful Indeed.

  11. Brilliant Abhra.. I know the topic is disgusting to say the least…. but you have expressed really well… I am glad we have Fathers and Brothers like you around

    • Thank you Seeta – yes, it was a firm protest from deep inside and I shared this on an international forum – to spread the message across.

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