Taslima Nasrin

(25 August 1962 - / Mymensingh / Bangladesh)

At The Back Of Progress


The fellow who sits in the air-conditioned office
is the one who in his youth raped
a dozen or so young girls,
and, at cocktail parties, is secretly stricken with lust,
fastening his eyes on lovelies' bellybuttons.

In five-star hotels,
he tries out his different sexual tastes
with a variety of women,
then returns home and beats his wife
because of an over-ironed handkerchief or shirt collar.

In his office Mr. Big puffs on a cigarette,
shuffles through files,
rings for his employee
shouts,
demands tea,
drinks,
and returns to writing people's character references.

His employee speaks in such a low voice
that no one would ever suspect
how, at home, he also raises his voice,
is vile to his family
but with his buddies on the porch or at a movie
indulges in loud harangues on politics,
art, literature, and how some female -
his mother, grandmother, or great-grandmother -
committed suicide.

Bidding goodbye to his buddies,
he returns home,
beats his wife
over a bar of soap
or the baby's pneumonia.

Next day, at work, he pleasantly brings the tea,
keeps the lighter in his pocket,
receives a tip of a couple of taka,
and tells no one that he divorced his first wife for her sterility,
his second for giving birth to a daughter,
his third for not bringing a sufficient dowry.
Now, with wife number four, he again has someone:
To beat over a green chili or a handful of rice.

Submitted: Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Edited: Tuesday, March 27, 2012

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Comments about this poem (At The Back Of Progress by Taslima Nasrin )

  • Gold Star - 10,543 Points * Sunprincess * (6/5/2014 7:41:00 PM)

    ..........nicely written....wonder why these men aren't locked up for assault and battery? .....great write.. (Report) Reply

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