I never thought I’d ever fall asleep without mama singing me a lullaby,
But don’t worry mama I sleep just fine here,
They let me take the horses out to graze any time I want now.
It’s my favourite thing to do. I play with the ponies and splash in the streams,
I run with the gazelles and there are so many pretty flowers to put in my hair.
Don’t worry mama, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.
Though, even the happiest of places
Can’t make me forget,
Of my sisters on earth,
Who live in regret,
Of the clothes they’ve worn, of going out alone,
Of speaking up loud, of being too proud,
Of lifting their head up high and reaching for the sky,
Of working for their dreams just to find out their bodies were used as schemes,
And also, in regret of nothing but being a little girl.
Mama let them not regret being a little girl.
Mama there’s still hope I can see it from here,
I pray that my sisters no longer live in fear.
I wrote this poem in light of the Kathua rape incident. It has been haunting me since I heard of it. While I named the poem “Asifa’s prayer” now is the time to do more than that. Now is the time to act, defeat ignorance and dispel darkness from our society.