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Walk a Mile In My Shoes

By Rasna Razak:

Cowering beneath layers of opacities,
I pen down my thoughts with lucidity,
In the hopes of bringing to light my mind’s musings
All the while, standing tall behind these walls.

Content with his perfect imperfections,
Yet yearning for more,
I silence my heart’s desires, dispering the rage
All the while, standing tall behind this walls.

For they were built, not with bricks but reasonings.
They were built not born, these armours,
One by one, to shield from harm,
A love ever prone to them all.

Cowering beneath these insecurities,
I pen down my thoughts in utter transparency.
For this is me, with no voice but only words to give
Seeking closure in the shadows behind these walls.

Hear me now, hear my shrieks of silence
For gone are the days I could use my voice
to set our thoughts into alignment.
Untame my tides of fury for once,
For deep down, I’m just someone standing tall within these walls.

Walk a mile in these shoes, worn to shreds  and soiled
Meandering trails set by a calamitous faith.
Walk a mile in these shoes, for I have none left to take
‘Cause deep down, I’m just someone stranded within these walls.

By ND Seno:

A friend of mine and I were talking around 4 AM in the morning and one thing led to another, so I convinced him to share some of his pictures with me. Baby pictures. (What were you even thinking?) And then…he just nonchalantly asked, “Do those creepy naked pictures of us as babies taken by some aunt / uncle count as child porn?” 

I told him there are no such pictures of me. But then I asked my other friend, Yudi, if he also had any naked pictures as a kid and…he said he did. We had a discussion on whether they were creepy or not and ended up talking about how there are naked pictures of boys as infants but mostly no such naked pictures of girls. Yudi told me parents or aunts or uncles usually take these pictures out of innocence but I was adamant, saying it sure was creepy if not child porn. 

I further said that the infant might be innocent but the adults who watch these photos might not be. Yudi was just not ready to give in, telling me no one would broadcast these pictures out in the world, and that they were part of private family albums. But just imagine someone from the family, a distant relative maybe, looking at these pictures, losing control of their impulses and taking the child behind a closed door. Yudi was silent after this, of course, no one likes to hear about the possibility of a pedophile being the part of a family and near an unsuspecting kid. 

But just think about it. Why don’t people take naked pictures of baby girls? I’m not saying they should. I am absolutely not saying that. I am saying that somewhere people think that it’s okay to display a penis but not a vagina. Somewhere, these people who take ‘innocent’ pictures of baby boys are scared to act upon that same innocence when a baby girl is concerned. This latent fear is always there in case of a girl but is dismissed when it comes to a boy. Now that I sit and think about it, I have no such pictures but I know at least four boys who do, and one of them is my own cousin. 

So what? Is it okay if the naked picture of a baby boy turns a pedophile on? Is it okay if, when no one is looking, a little boy is abused? Estha from ‘The God of Small Things’ and Saladin from ‘The Satanic Verses’, both were guys and both were part of sexual abuse. Their bodies were alright but what about the minds? What about the inside and not the outside? When a girl is violated her life is finished, apparently. (And oh this is a different area of discussion which I’d very much like to get into some other day.) It’s so very sad to think that the same thing might happen to a boy and no one would bat an eye. Talk about double standards, people. 

So to suffice, I will never really consider taking creepy naked pictures of my kid, if I had any kids. Yudi was really bummed out for a while after our discussion; it is a very diverse discussion, with so many factors and emotions and possibly a few theories of Freud. Yet I asked him again, ‘Do you think it’s just an Indian thing or people around everywhere take naked pictures of their babies?’ Yudi wasn’t sure what to say. I don’t think they do it everywhere. I don’t even know why our Indian parents do it. Yudi and I also speculated on the reasons for a while but were not even sure, if in some twisted ways, boys and girls could ever walk a mile in each other’s shoes.