A note from the author: I wrote the poem on Women's Day thinking about the significance of the day and how we celebrate this one day, showing our reverence for women, yet we, as women, feel unsafe even today. I wanted to focus on how being a woman can become tiresome sometimes, especially in India, as we have to abide by certain norms. I also refer to the news that we hear of missing girls, of women being harassed and kidnapped, and through this poem, I want women to raise their voices against the violence women face.
To be a Woman
What is it than a submission,
celebration about how we turn
and repulse this anatomy.
Female being, how to become a woman,
who is a woman,
who is a lady.
How many names have we imagined
to name our own selves, aching
blood wrath shattered visages in dismay, this time,
this moment pains me
As I say,
how tiring it
can become sometimes to be
clipped aside in the curtains dwelling afar,
preventing the rays from visiting in.
And how artfully we talk of the woods,
sense how the return from there is never easy,
still pretend to
let it hushed, as an unexplored wound in
the depths of skin,
but we open up in closed
Spaces, guzlkhanas, togetherness
Yet how it all remains within. Silenced.
Yet we share
In our stories,
this is the time of iterations, the
women’s history month, that one day styled after us,
but what of the entrenched disenchantment,
this whole saga of missing girls,
this soft whisper, this unsounding wail still
cracking the earth beneath,
can’t we settle this moment to an incantation,
tap the beat in silence,
bring back all those abandoned in the woods,
scatter the ravaged, the closed,
the secretive stories –
to navigate this self,
that is wholesome
in its vivacity,
this voice that must roar indefinitely,
this stride that must be unstoppable.