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The Dogma of Damnation

This hard baked society

Is a half-baked society

It burns witches in a small Indian town

And hangs a homosexual boy in an Arab country

It takes away choices

And hands over codes

It makes education mandatory

And then distributes books that don’t educate

Only radicalize 

It wears a collective garb of morality

And then strips you naked 

In the city centre

For questioning why girls can’t wear what they like


This headless society

Is a mindless society

It lays down norms 

That are broken quietly

By those who set them in the first place

The arms dealer is the political advisor

Of the country’s leader

The mistress, a jaded actress

Is the president of women’s rights council

That vows to protect the dignity

Of all women

She promises her aging boyfriend 

The rich owner of the oil conglomerate 

She will give him a lap dance

After the charity dinner where they 

Felicitated the poor owner of an orphanage 


This invertebrate society 

Is a gutless society

It watches national stoning

Or public lashing

And goes home to a hot meal

And soft bed

It brandishes people 

On colour and race

Segregates them like animals in a farm 

The rest follow the undertaker

Heads hanging low

Too wimpish to fight

And once the division takes place

It talks about unity and equality

On speakers through the city 


This society is an imperfect society

In what could have been a perfect world 

But the masters who sat down to 

Create borders

On land and human psyche

Are nameless, faceless

So that when I look around 

I do not know who they are

But I know deep inside

If I stand in front of the mirror

I will see someone

Who is society

You and me

The dogmas are our own

Which is why the 

Damnation must also be ours.

Two Pens on Notebook

Shefali Nautiyal believes in the magic of words. She believes in stories, fairy tales, poetry, and uses these mediums to constantly escape from the real world. An English Honours graduate, a former journalist, single mother of two, she writes for the love of it and because she is in love with the written word. Her first book, an anthology of poems titled 'Unwoven' was released in June this year (Birch books). Her second book, a verse novel titled ‘Gathering Dreams at Dusk’ was released in September this year (Birch books). Her third book 'Conversation on Cue' is lined up for release by the end of this month. Her poems are regularly featured in The Livewire, an e-magazine. 

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