Heads Held High!

The night is rough, the terrain tough, but it cannot forever be night;

Darkness must needs go, and make way for the gathering light!

Will we wait for dawn to arrive, and for the sun to arise!

Is not our march underway already, towards the eastern skies?

Enough have we suffered, century after century, country by country;

It’s high time we ended the violence,indignity and the inhuman brutality.

Right from birth, and through the seven stages of her worldly life,

Woman has been battling deadly dragons breathing fire,

The heat of injustice, discrimination and degradation,

Scorching herself-respect, and crushing out all her desires.

For the sin of being a girl, well before she was even born,

She got mercilessly killed in the womb, and buried in a silent tomb!

Infanticide, femicide and uxoricide, stared at her from all sides,

As did the burning of widows, and of newly married brides;

As a reward for falling in love, girls in graves were buried alive;

Auctioned off for five guineas, were daughters and wives;

Besotted husbands and incestuous fathers turned her perverted predators;

Thorns meant to protect the tender rose, became the petal shredders.

We have come a long way, but still have miles to go;

Dark clouds are already waning! And blooming are flowers of hope!

Young husbands accompany their pregnant wives caringly on morning walks;

Fathers help, nay cook in the kitchens, even as mothers work on their laptops!

Hand in hand, and with heads held high, let us persist in our march,

As our Sindhu’s win world cups, and our Shivangi’s reach for the stars!

Mrs. Gulnar Raheem Khan, Chennai

To a Daughter

I had not seen snow covered peaks

But the time had covered those green ones

I had seen with frozen ice, many a time, in dark nights;

They were naked under the sun bright.

Nights just happen, we can’t blame the sun

But, dear daughter, you must not hug the fire, like moths

Stay home if the night is too dark; braving

The night is choosing the right thing, knowing

That we need fire in brain to melt the bad iron in our path;

Hence, dear child, tone your body and mind muscles hard;

Being the flowers of a garden guarantee nothing beautiful-

A fulfilling wilting en route to be a seed for a new beginning

Or to be crushed down by heavy boots on a red red carpet.

Yet, dear daughter, you must bloom to the beauty fulleth.

For, the sun is helpless not to rise again, with a new dawn

Even if it means through our death; be brave and bold.

Mrs. Sarala Ram Kamal, Trivandrum

Glasses Are Forbidden?

Why this discrimination against the fair ones,

Why do bodies need to be scrutinized?

Can’t women wear high-heeled shoes, glasses?

Contacts or whatever they wish to?

Self-aggrandizing or coquettish, not their style,

Commitment to work, right etiquette is!

Technology in leaps and bounds, yet,

Conservative demeanour still around…

Let women be given

The freedom of choice,

Don costumes they prefer-

Comfort over fashion statement,

Choose glasses over lens,

Fancy shoes over flats,

After all,

It’s a personal choice

For HIM and HER.

Drink your coffee hot or cold

Do not stare at me with eyes cold!

Why this discrimination against the fair ones?

Hema Ravi, Chennai

From POSH to POP

It must definitely stop,

Violence against women,

The question is how and when?

It must definitely start,

An imperative movement

Men empowerment programs

Of uncompromisable

Conduct code, punishable

heavily in deviance.

Strong, aware, empowered men,

Self respecting, clear headed

Who deign not stoop unashamed

To acts of indecency.

No longer creatures of lust,

Self regulated men of trust,

Prevention Of Perpetrators,

The compelling task of the hour,

No perpetrator – no victim.

Mrs. Padmini Janardhanan, Chennai.

You are Powerful

You’re confined to the four walls of kitchen still

You’re submissive to the hands of a man’s will

He dominates you as a property with no limit

as an intimate partner without your permit!

At the time of your birth, folks feel cheerful

As you grow, they don’t appear so merciful

You’re the loving daughter to your parents ever

Marital chains restrict you from going further!

You’re treated not as a human, but as an object

Your physical beauty is more priority than mind

If you’re not a mother, he’ll harass you forever

O! Dear! He’s the most dangerous animal ever!

How long will you be his genuine silent listener?

Enough! His abusing words have no boundaries

Bear not his physical or mental trauma again

Lead a life where respect and love embrace you

Say no to dowry and child wedding forever

Let immaturity and innocence not betray you

Beware; you’re a blessing to the world, dear

Wherever you’re honoured, there’s everything!

Mrs. Padmavathi, Hyderabad

Being a Woman

In quiescence I preach;

I take pride being a woman,

Would like to look feminine

with sweet shyness and blushing cheeks,

Yet blanket my feminine trails

like the “touch-me-not”  leaves,

Annoying compliments don’t enslave me. 

Melanin in skin decides one’s attributes,

Soft rhythm in trots accentuates traits,

My body is a temple of nurturing powers

None is assigned with rights to relegate it.

I wish to admit my mistakes, 

to show my strength through it and grow,

Not a weakness it is, I counter,

Don’t take for granted, or brand me timid.

I want to be everything,

nothing at all at the same time,

Be smart, but not appear smarter than you,   

In your guess precisely, not to hurt your ego,

Maintain peace between us is my motto

as we travel together between life and death .          

I want to be independent,

Be on my own to boost my confidence,

Not that I do not need you,

You can be the shade I embrace to be in light,

Like the maple leaves to the butterflies in rain.         

We are different, but no discrimination,

Mutually reliant we are, none superior.

You and I are fed with the same milk

both at birth, and after death  too.

Pankajam Kottarath, Chennai

Don't be a doormat

Good evening my adorable readers. Thanks for supporting us by being active in visiting our site. In the time period of sixteen days i.e. 25th of November to 10th December, we intend to create an awareness regarding violence against women in various forms. The source creating violence may be in any form-external or internal. External forces somehow or the other come to limelight but internal turmoil or confusions hardly find a way out. On many occasions ,we find people dictating terms as to how we must portray ourselves in front of others. Most of the times, it’s like dancing to their tunes. Haven’t you faced such situations? How have you reacted to it? I’m sure most of the times we agree to their terms, it’s not because we are weak, it’s because we value their relationship. But in the process we don’t realise that these same very people have taken us for granted by all means and use us like a doormat. When we get aware of the fact, we put it across to them, may be we get emotional a bit, break down coz we are hurt. What’s the response-initially apologies as they need our support in some form but once it has settled down a bit, they don’t miss out an opportunity to point out that we were involved in an act of self-pity or complaining. They even say, you need to sort out your issues on your own, practically it’s not possible for an individual to help out the other person. Only then do we realise what a hypocrit the person is as the same person once had promised to stand by our side in all adversities. Now what happened!!!!! Try to understand that these people hold onto us because they need us and when the required task is accomplished, they move ahead trampling us like a doormat that’s become old to step on another one which is new. This too is a kind of violence, face it with all your grit and determination by putting an end to such a futile relationship. Life is wonderful with people who value for you as you are, tread along with such good souls and see how meaningful your living is.

Sujatha Sairam,Chennai

Co-Founder and Head of content delivery, Sthreejeevan.