Suttee

“Oh! set her free”
Shouts the large crowd
“We should set her free”
Since her husband breathes no longer
We should ensure – so shouldn’t she
We shouldn’t question the word of God
For she is now a widow, a suttee
“Oh! set her free”
Shouts the large crowd
“We should set her free”

Let us strip her bare, with no clothes on
For the whole village to see
Let us burn her along with her dead husband
With no sense of basic morality
“Oh! set her free”
Shouts the large crowd
“We should set her free”

Who are we to question customs
And traditions of society
And whoever does question them
will be blamed for blasphemy
“Oh! set her free”
Shouts the large crowd
“We should set her free”

Yes now, bring her to the ghat
Where here husband lays peacefully
Maybe she’ll try to resist being burnt
And blame us for our cruelty
“But we should set her free”
Shouts the large crowd
“We should set her free”

Or maybe we could fill her head
with lots of religious stupidity
Then maybe she’d go along with this
quickly, quietly and gracefully
“Oh! set her free”
Shouts the large crowd
“We should set her free”

Let us seat her over her husband
As she weeps at her destiny
But remember now, we’re doing this for God
What better a reason can there be?
“Oh! set her free”
Shouts the large crowd
“We should set her free”

Let us finish up with the ceremony
And forget about the irony
That the same fate awaits some day
For the likes of you and me
“Oh! We set her free”
Shouted the large crowd
“We did set her free”

Now set the corpse on fire, with her on top
With him, then, she’ll always be
Don’t let the heat scare her to run
For we should maintain continuity
“Oh! We set her free”
Shouted the large crowd
“We did set her free”

Now that the ceremony’s over, One burned alive
Let us celebrate carelessly
So what if its wrong? Its the word of God
A tradition of society
And I see there, that man’s not well
His death may come hourly
And I hear from the voices in the streets
That he has married quite recently
“Oh! And once he dies,”
Shouted the large crowd
“We should set her free”

 

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One comment

  1. This made me think of the story story “The Lottery”.

Its nice to share what you think of what you read

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