I’m scared to step out of the house today,

what on earth would people say?

As I hitch up my skirt above my knee,

will I garner attention and looks of glee?

As I run my fingers through my hair,

will that make you stop and stare?

As I walk down the street with a bit of a strut,

is that what’s prompting all of this smut?

If I covered my legs and my bare arms,

would it help you to stay calm?

If I catch your eye for a second or two,

is it enough to beguile you?


I’m trying to glean what it is I can do,

to stop myself from bothering you,

with my trousers and my tight blouse,

as I walk to work and back to my house.

I’m trying to learn where i’m going wrong,

before I left, my blouse wasn’t torn,

before I left, I was just a girl,

now i’m being dangled in front of the world,

because I forgot to stare at the ground

as I walk; and not make a sound,

as you whistle a tune when I come around,

my tongue and freedom together bound,

lest it be mistaken for some kind of trigger

in you; as your pants get bigger.


I’d really love to go out and play,

But I don’t know – i’m scared today.

8 thoughts on “Fear

  1. Things seem to change. And they don’t. Sometimes they get worse – feels like we are more backward now. One of my colleagues was saying that it’s working girls (and not girl students) who are being targeted. There was a good article I read that said that working women are attracting this because they are ‘getting in men’s faces’, men don’t like to see their independence. So it’s like the politics of power and dominance. Beautifully written from the heart. *Total hand-wringing*

  2. Hey Nandini, I know you through your mom, a good friend of mine! But I know you now regardless of her as a person with sensitivities. You translate those very well in words. Hope your words transform some minds…good work, God bless and HNY!

  3. You have expressed a difficult situation very well with rhythm, rhyme and excellent phrasing. There is humour, vitality and sadness here too but know that the world has noticed and is aware of the problem you face. Well done.

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