Interned by Taslima Nasrin

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Think of me, if you’re ever interned,
If your legs are ever chained.
If ever someone goes away
Having locked the room in which you are
From outside, not within, think of me.
There’s nobody anywhere around can hear you,
Your mouth stuck, your lips stitched tight,
You want to speak, you can’t.
Or you’re speaking, but nobody can hear you,
Or hearing, but only dismissively,
Think of me.
Just as you’d desire so madly that someone opened the door,
Free you from all your chains and stitches,
So has I desired too.
A month passed by, nobody came this way.
They’d thought who knows what might happen if the door was opened.
Think of me.
When it hurts you hard, think that’s how I felt too.
Even if one moves with caution at every step,
One can still get interned just like that, anyone, even you,
Then you and I are all the same, with not he least difference,
Then you are like me, waiting too for a man,
The darkness closes in, no man comes.

[This poem was written while Taslima was forced to live in confinement in an undisclosed location in Delhi from 22 November 2007 to 19 March 2008. Samik Bandapadahya translated this poem from her book PRISONERS POEMS]

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