Purdah

This main graphic is a sketch of a person who appears genderqueer – they have flowing crinkly hair framing the face, stark wide open eyes with gracefully arched eyebrows, luscious lips, and a face outline that cannot be discerned as typically masculine or feminine. While the person’s sketch is in simple sharp lines of black and fills up the graphic frame, it is overlaid with abstract and flowing patterns in pink, yellow, green and blue, with white spaces balancing out the colours. There is a fluorescent touch in the riot of colours. But the person’s eyes seem to peer out from behind the colours and gaze at the reader. The sketch is drawn with pen ink on off-white paper, while the coloured patterns have been created with highlighter marker pens. The graphic has a thick border that works as a frame. The graphic is undated. Graphic credit: Anupam Hazra

Poetry, May '19
Sniggers at androgyny are a poor purdah on our insecurities, says Rajib Chakrabarti

I hope one day I'll tell the truth
 
how I feel and how I look

and risk the love you feel for me

and invite the loathing you reserve

for girls that ogle at girls

and boys who do likewise.


Those who hear my voice and say

“Ma'am” wouldn’t make the same mistake

if they saw my beard before they spoke.

They suspect, or just share the joke

with friends who have a hearty laugh

for androgyny is ever so funny

in voice or look or the way you walk

or even in the way you fall in love.


Leaving the comfort of the closet is really

poor temptation indeed.


Main illustration credit: Anupam Hazra (artwork created with pen ink and highlighter marker pens on art paper).

Author Photo

Rajib Chakrabarti

Rajib Chakrabarti teaches English and hopes that scientific rationalism and secular ethics will one day replace religious dogma.

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