Posts Tagged ‘Music To Inspire’

Music To Inspire – Artists UNited Against Human Trafficking

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

MusicToInspire2Music To Inspire – Artists UNited Against Human Trafficking,” will officially be released on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at an evening gala event held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. I’m deeply honored to be there as one of the album’s over 40 artists and dignitaries.

Some months ago, Sammy Chand, Executive Producer of Rukus Avenue, called me up to ask me if I’d contribute an anti-human-trafficking advocacy piece to this forthcoming album.

The album was to raise awareness about a modern form of slavery: human trafficking, the exploitation of humans for labor, organs, or sex. It’s rampant here in America and across the globe, raking in $150 billion annually.

I had written about the red-light district of Kamathipura in my first novel Haunting Bombay, and I continue to write about women’s bodies and sexuality, systems of power, and subverting them. Now Sammy was giving me 30-seconds to deliver something educational and inspiring.

As we ended the phone call, an image came to mind, that of the goddess’s vagina spinning down from the heavens. There’s an ancient myth about Goddess Sati. After she immolated herself, her grief-stricken husband lifted up her lifeless body and danced about in a rage so intense that he almost destroyed the universe. In order to stop him, another god dismembered Sati’s body bit-by-bit, her severed toe, arm, head, hair, falling away, until there was nothing left of her. Except there was; her eternal self.

Meanwhile, Sati’s vagina thudded softly in Kamakhya, Assam, lodging deep within the earth. If you go there now, on pilgrimage, you will discover a dark cave temple and an underground spring that sometimes runs red.

There was a time in human history, when all societies valued the divine gift of womanhood, when gathering was as vital as hunting. And then, 10,000 years ago, there was a shift in consciousness, coinciding with the rise of agricultural societies in the Fertile Crescent and all over the globe. The delicate balance of man belonging to the natural world, of the need for respectful peacekeeping, tipped, and the world and its inhabitants were claimed as belongings by man, their despot king.

We know the rest of the story, a bloody account of conquest and war, a story in which women still haven’t regained control of their own bodies, let alone their lives. The United Nations estimates that as many as 200 million women and girls are “demographically missing” worldwide, which means that every single year across our planet up to “three million girls and women are killed through gender related violence.” There’s a holocaust happening every day before us, and yet we close our eyes, refusing to see.

Gendercide, infanticide, lack of health care and food, neglect, abuse, and violence all contribute, feeding the relentless juggernaut of sex-trafficking, not only the devaluation the female, but in the basic fact that if there are less women available as wives, more are needed in brothels.

As an artist, I’m gathering the scattered limbs and broken bits of the goddess. I’m tenderly reaching for the most degraded and ruined aspects of her and cradling them in my arms and my imagination. In my forthcoming trilogy, I’m resurrecting her divine body.

As a writer of social justice, I put my art out there, not just to bring injustice and suffering to light, but in the hopes that my stories will resonate, and maybe, just maybe, crack open a shuttered heart. We begin by looking inside of ourselves, into darkened crevices of our own fears and hate, into that which we believe unforgiveable. Once we see our true selves, once we yearn for light instead of dark, love enters us, fully, radiantly. That’s how we become whole again.

We do the hard work of repairing humanity’s bruised and battered body in the same way. With love. We remake the paradigm of world conquerors into that of world participants within the dynamic ebb and flow of this beautiful planet. When consciousness shifts once more, we will no longer exploit lives, any living life, for profit or pleasure. For when we are whole, society is whole, and such horrors are vanquished. It’s been 10,000 years. It’s time, at last.


Rukus Avenue will donate all proceeds from this album to the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund, established to provide humanitarian, legal and financial aid to victims of trafficking.