An Open Letter to Ravan on Vijayadashami

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Jatayu, Sita and Ravana 
by Roy, Jamini.

Dear Ravan,
You of ten heads, master of six shastras and four vedas, blessed by Shiva, with twenty eyes and two hands you rampaged, but
today is the tenth day
Ravan, your name, the scream, roaring your ability to silence
The louder you got the bolder I became
Here, let me undress myself,
I will fight naked, tears flowing, hair astray, my sagging breasts hampering my stride with the weight of unwanted attention, like the wild woman I am labelled of being,
all I will hold in my cupped palms is my truth
No, I am not going to wait for the army to arrive
I refuse to be strategic, scheming for victory
I will run towards you, my memories slithering out my ears like serpents
The Goddess watches, she has three eyes
Named Durga, her body a fortress, eight arms ready for war
Of things you have done
Of your ten heads with ten tongues
The curl of the tips
The heat of your words as you spat
Ten-fold
I wipe my only face
Clean
I don’t need to produce witnesses
My body remembers
Sita

Image source: V&A Archives