Taslima Nasrin

(25 August 1962 - / Mymensingh / Bangladesh)

At The Back Of Progress - Poem by Taslima Nasrin

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.


Comments about At The Back Of Progress by Taslima Nasrin

  • Paul Amrod (4/26/2019 4:56:00 PM)

    Men of this sort won't make through the pearly gates and will receive a dwarf star as a habitat. Thanks for painting the picture as grim as it should be. Your courage is very commendable. (Report)Reply

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  • Britte Ninad (4/26/2019 12:57:00 AM)

    so acutely describes this poem
    the haphazard vile of our current society
    (Report)Reply

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  • Prabir Gayen (9/28/2018 11:56:00 PM)

    Good delineation of morbid mind, the social vile (Report)Reply

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  • Robert Murray Smith (7/21/2018 12:35:00 AM)

    Two-faced men are a blight on themselves and their families. (Report)Reply

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  • Mahtab Bangalee (6/3/2018 10:01:00 PM)

    Woe Man!
    not woman
    Man in woe or awe
    No, no
    Narrow or broad
    wicked can borrow
    O no
    not man or woman
    only wicked can!
    (Report)Reply

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  • Jayatissa K. Liyanage (12/6/2016 11:30:00 PM)

    This seems universal truth, which is very much bitter to taste. Poetess sees the masculine domain in the dominance context, which we males have to admit true. Your openness and the courage to break through is highly appreciated. Congrats for being he PoD. Thanks for the thought provoking poem. (Report)Reply

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  • Bharati Nayak (12/6/2016 10:30:00 PM)

    As Rajnish Manga said in his comment, the narrative may sound disgusting at first, but we can not deny the presence of such demonic characters in this world.The women who suffer at their hands, perhaps do not have much option to escape. (Report)Reply

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  • Kumarmani Mahakul (12/6/2016 10:20:00 PM)

    An excellent poem having good ideology has been presented. Thaks for sharing such a valuable poem and congratulation for the poem of the day. (Report)Reply

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  • Terry Craddock (12/6/2016 2:40:00 PM)

    Mr Big was really Mr Small, the moral could be to not marry for riches and power, marry for love and personality, surface appearances and personality are less important than true depths; male or female surround yourself with genuine and kind people with depth of character and seek imployment if possible in good employment environments or change jobs or enforce a healthier work place. An incredibly deep penetrating poem, well title, well written, warning of the dangers of arrogance and excessive ego. How can a poem of this quality be voted less than a 10+++? (Report)Reply

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  • (12/6/2016 1:53:00 PM)

    The whole fascinating write kept me riveted to the bitter end. Your poem stirred a raft of thought and emotion. Thank you Taslima. (Report)Reply

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  • Anil Kumar Panda (12/6/2016 11:32:00 AM)

    This kind of people create havoc in society. They don't have moral strength to face truth. Very nice. (Report)Reply

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  • Rajnish Manga (12/6/2016 11:24:00 AM)

    At first sight, the narrative might sound disgusting or unjustified to a large portion of our male dominated society, but any neutral observer will agree with what the poet has projected. (Report)Reply

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  • Seamus O Brian (12/6/2016 9:47:00 AM)

    The effective contrast of Mr. Big to a simple employee, both characterized by the same disregard for the human value of womanhood provides a powerful visual to your message. This is further enhanced by the casual mention of accouterments of every day living (cup of tea, bar of soap, shirt collar) contrasted by the accompanying unflinching revelation of unjust violence.

    Behind the everyday facades or ordinary people lurk both the ability and, sometimes, the propensity for violence, even upon those with whom they share life. This is tragic, and should by all means become a part of our past history, not our present. Kudos to you, good artist, for raising high the standard of justice for all people, great and small, male and female.
    (Report)Reply

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  • Clarence Prince (12/6/2016 7:31:00 AM)

    Men, oh men, some are good and some are wicked;
    nonetheless, women need them!
    Blessed are the woman who found a good man!
    (Report)Reply

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  • Bisy Untan (12/6/2016 5:22:00 AM)

    The great writer is always with a revolutionary torch in her hand.Thanks for letting us to read your poem. (Report)Reply

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  • Indira Renganathan (12/6/2016 4:30:00 AM)

    There are some people of this kind in the society...this is a very good poem on a psycho- -10+++++ (Report)Reply

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  • (12/6/2016 4:28:00 AM)

    An effective parody. The play on changing personae-private to public- made amusing an otherwise serious issue. Well done. (Report)Reply

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  • Col Muhamad Khalid Khan (12/6/2016 2:49:00 AM)

    A wonderful poem Taslima. Congratulations on being member of the day
    Col Muhammad Khalid Khan
    (Report)Reply

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  • Akham Nilabirdhwaja Singh (12/6/2016 1:33:00 AM)

    Yet he prefers to be known as a perfect gentleman. A typical modern character.Fabulous! (Report)Reply

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  • Bernard F. Asuncion (12/6/2016 1:07:00 AM)

    Domestic violence................................................................... (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Poem Edited: Tuesday, March 27, 2012


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