No means No – Shalu Bhati, New Delhi

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No.
Is this not what you tell me?
Every time?
Is this the only world you know?
Or do you love it,
More than anything else
In this whole wide world?

No.
How much does it
Satisfy your ego—
To know that I cannot do anything;
That I am stuck here.
With you.
Does it make you happy?
That you got me down
And under your thumb?
Who did you so wrong?
Why are you the way you are?

No.
Can you not feel
This hate in my eyes?
Is it not intense enough for you
To acknowledge?
Are you so much blinded
By your pride?
Do you not see?
That this hate
Has been nurtured into rage—
A rage that burns me inside out.
(It can burn you too, you know)

No.
Do you not think
That you should be scared?
Even if a little,
But scared,
Of the day when it all comes out:
All this hatred
And all this rage.
It will destroy
The sweet little fairytale
You think you have been writing.
Everything will be turned
To ashes.
Why do you not want
To see the warning signs?
Or is this you questioning
The approaching storm?

Yes.
I know you.
Like the back of my hand.
I know
That all you will give me is—
No.
Again and again
And again.

You will not get tired, will you?
But I have.
So allow me to talk
In a language
You are well versed with:
No.
You cannot belittle me.
No.
You do not get to take my happiness.
No.
You are not my sun.
I will not revolve around you.
No.
You do not own me.
And no.
You cannot contain me.
Not for long.

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