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The sun was up and the air was taking a morning nap.
The streets ran the regular barking commotion,
And cockcrow shrieks were deafening the pedestrians walking by.
The birds crowded the sky as if signalling a warning coming by.
The surrounding racket favoured their hunt so much,
That some even supposed the gods were on their side that day.

Soon, they spotted their prey,
Unescorted, alone, trying her best not to be noticed and mind her way.
If only I had an invisibility veil, she thought to herself.
Praying under her breath on every step to reach home in one piece.

But they were too many, armed with anything strong and blunt
They could grasp off the roads.
For this was an unusual chase,
The authorities were put on guard,
The sun was asked to shine and smile,
The birds had fled the area
And the cemented road was marked.

For this is where she would surrender,
Her honour for yours,
Her dignity for yours,
Her self-respect for yours,
Her everything for yours.

Laid down on the ground like any animal but of course,
She is not to be offered any water or grass, this civility is only for animals alone, instead,
“Strike her hard on the head and chest”, they screamed.
“And keep striking until she rests!”
Honour was celebrated that day,
In the busy and occupied streets of Lahore.
Savages had a treat and cannibals gathered for their share of the meat.
No one will go empty plate today, they sang, for this is a feast for all!

Narjis Mirza

A graduate from the National College of Arts, she is a practicing visual artist, and co-founder of Kubaku Art Project. She tweets as @narjismirza (

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