Treasure Island

Dr Tapan Kumar Pradhan

(October 22,1972 / Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India)

It Can Happen to You Anywhere...


Your enemies can do it, your friends
can do it to you. Your driver, doctor
neighbour, neighbourhood shopkeeper
your uncle, your priest, your teacher
anybody can do it to you. A-n-y body.

They can do it to you anywhere –
at bus stops, public parks, city toilets
in cinema halls, sanctum sanctorums
of temples, of churches, of mosques
at home or workplace, within or without

on your way back from school or office
or on your way to your school or office

They can do it to you anywhere, anytime
in broad daylight, dawn or night, or at twilight
when you are entering a river to wash yourself
or going behind the bushes to relieve yourself.

Yes, it can happen to you anytime, anywhere –
whether you are a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian
whether you are in a suit or saree, burquah or salwar
whether your eyes are black, blue, hair brown or blonde
whether you kneel down daily before your dearest Lord
or count your beads standing knee deep in water
whether you accept, ignore or refuse a lift or joyride
on the way to your office or school or marketplace.

I know it for certain, for I can still tremblingly hear
that heart-rending shriek resounding from the rear
seat of a white city bus with tinted dark windows
where six men suddenly turned into a pack of wolves
on a hungry December night in Lyuten’s cold Delhi
and fell upon a clothed frail mass of bones and skin,
devouring the flesh, then removing the entrails
before dumping leftover for the dogs on roadside
and I know it can happen
anywhere anytime to you.

And... it can happen to you in any possible manner
from the front or behind; from both front and behind
in singles or doubles, in groups of four, six or a score
in front of your aunt, mother or granddaughter
or along with your aunt, mother or own daughter
you know it can happen

anywhere to you.


Note: -

In response to the infamous Nirbhaya Gang Rape Case in New Delhi on the night of 16 December 2012.

Submitted: Thursday, January 30, 2014
Edited: Saturday, February 08, 2014

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Comments about this poem (It Can Happen to You Anywhere... by Dr Tapan Kumar Pradhan )

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  • Sankar Sehanabis (4/11/2014 5:03:00 AM)

    Dr. Pradhan, Reality perfectly highlighted in your poem. We all are worried about our child. There are typical change in the society and mentality of the youth, which causes such a brutal case. There are so many causes behind it. We have to think how to improve the mentality of the youth. (Report) Reply

  • V P Mahur (4/9/2014 2:28:00 PM)

    Dear Sir,
    A shamful black reality of our society which ill with so inhuman feelings. Nice work. I appreciate your creation in different way
    Thanks for your suggestions. (Report) Reply

  • Tanya Gupta (3/1/2014 10:52:00 PM)

    very nice poem with the true state of what is running today.well written come and read my poems also (Report) Reply

  • * Sunprincess * (2/18/2014 6:39:00 PM)

    ......very nicely penned....and still this incident is very disturbing...sometimes I wonder why india has such a high rate of rape incidents....and seems like most of the rapes are young children and teens....I did want to visit india...you can read my poem a very special kingdom....and see how I did wish to see all of the special places there....but now, I have changed my mind...and will not be visiting....your write is a great message... (Report) Reply

  • Patricia Grantham (2/11/2014 6:45:00 AM)

    I really love this write Dr. Pradhan. You did not hold anything back, it was told
    just like it is. We are not safe anywhere anymore not even in our homes. Looking
    over our shoulders seems to be a daily routine. Violence can happen anytime, anywhere
    if we do not stay alert. The human condition is in a state of disarray. Still we must
    persevere. Excellent. (Report) Reply

  • Veeraiyah Subbulakshmi (2/8/2014 1:53:00 AM)

    the world is the safest place, unless we happen to come across with the criminals and psychopaths, who sometimes turn out to be our acquaintances at home, at work and any where on the streets. To control the menace the human should be taught for them to understand how hurtful it is when someone is violated, even simply pinching at a place that should not be touched...though long the poem may serve purpose..thank you for sharing your idea of harassment.. (Report) Reply

  • Valsa George (2/6/2014 2:34:00 AM)

    This sad tale is poignantly remembered, sustaining a sense of suspense from start to finish! Yes the world has become so unsafe that anything can happen to anybody, anytime! ! Great write! ! (Report) Reply

Read all 11 comments »

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