Though the boy’s was not a government job,
looking at the trail of degrees after his name
my poor school-teacher father,
who could barely make both ends meet,
arranged the Nikah with half a lakh
though it was well beyond his means.
How could I know he would turn me away giving Talaq
making me four-months pregnant within five?
Since parents could not renege their responsibility
as easily as the groom his marriage vows,
I was constrained to parade the corridors of law.
Grandma’s marriage gift melted away for Lawyer’s fee.
Each time I attend the adjournments
I become a hot topic in the courtyard.
My answers suffer lock-up death in the gullet
behind the presumptuous queries at cross-examination.
My fruitless testimony of conscience
bows before bought out depositions.
Before the verdict in my case could be delivered
the judge’s seat changes three occupants.
Our Pleader continues to prolong the case
on the pretext of summons, petitions and clerks.
The male arrogance, encumbrance–free after Talaq
crowns the groom with Sehara once more.
How can I refrain from questioning my Shariyat
which grants him liberty to marry up to four
but leaves the innocent child unfamiliar of father’s face
before me like a question mark,
and reduces me to a vestige of his shriveled Sehara
with the scars of a major operation on my abdomen?
I am ready for any silent resistance
to challenge my “Personal Law” which prescribes
that I should be paid alimony
only for the three-months of Iddat.