Tag Archives: feminism

Re-visiting; Re-reading.

I read this following poem time and again, very often, so often that by now I have most of the lines by heart and yet I do not get enough of it.

How can I? Because every time I read this, it gives me, well I won’t say new insight but the very same old feelings that I live with. The feelings are always there, they are ever present, only they come out or I let them come out not too often. These are the feelings I live with, most women live with.

Though there are some days when they flow so rapidly that I fail to control them, or give them a direction and on those days, I read, I read anything, and everything, I read poems, novels, stories, plays. I read this poem all over again.

Today is one such day, and I will share this once again. Because, I am flowing, I am hurting, I am smiling, because it’s all mine, because I am I.

An Introduction. 

I don’t know politics but I know the names
Of those in power, and can repeat them like
Days of week, or names of months, beginning with Nehru.
I am Indian, very brown, born inMalabar,
I speak three languages, write in
Two, dream in one.
Don’t write in English, they said, English is
Not your mother-tongue. Why not leave
Me alone, critics, friends, visiting cousins,
Every one of you? Why not let me speak in
Any language I like? The language I speak,
Becomes mine, its distortions, its queernesses
All mine, mine alone.
It is half English, halfIndian, funny perhaps, but it is honest,
It is as human as I am human, don’t
You see? It voices my joys, my longings, my
Hopes, and it is useful to me as cawing
Is to crows or roaring to the lions, it
Is human speech, the speech of the mind that is
Here and not there, a mind that sees and hears and
Is aware. Not the deaf, blind speech
Of trees in storm or of monsoon clouds or of rain or the
Incoherent mutterings of the blazing
Funeral pyre. I was child, and later they
Told me I grew, for I became tall, my limbs
Swelled and one or two places sprouted hair.
WhenI asked for love, not knowing what else to ask
For, he drew a youth of sixteen into the
Bedroom and closed the door, He did not beat me
But my sad woman-body felt so beaten.
The weight of my breasts and womb crushed me.
I shrank Pitifully.
Then … I wore a shirt and my
Brother’s trousers, cut my hair short and ignored
My womanliness. Dress in sarees, be girl
Be wife, they said. Be embroiderer, be cook,
Be a quarreller with servants. Fit in. Oh,
Belong, cried the categorizers. Don’t sit
On walls or peep in through our lace-draped windows.
Be Amy, or be Kamala. Or, better
Still, be Madhavikutty. It is time to
Choose a name, a role. Don’t play pretending games.
Don’t play at schizophrenia or be a
Nympho. Don’t cry embarrassingly loud when
Jilted in love … I met a man, loved him. Call
Him not by any name, he is every man
Who wants. a woman, just as I am every
Woman who seeks love. In him . . . the hungry haste
Of rivers, in me . . . the oceans’ tireless
Waiting. Who are you, I ask each and everyone,
The answer is, it is I. Anywhere and,
Everywhere, I see the one who calls himself I
In this world, he is tightly packed like the
Sword in its sheath. It is I who drink lonely
Drinks at twelve, midnight, in hotels of strange towns,
It is I who laugh, it is I who make love
And then, feel shame, it is I who lie dying
With a rattle in my throat. I am sinner,
I am saint. I am the beloved and the
Betrayed. I have no joys that are not yours, no
Aches which are not yours. I too call myself I.

Kamala Das. 

3 Day Quote Challenge; Day3.

This is my last quote and since I have made it all about women, why diverse from it on the last day. So, I will share another quote from a beautiful woman flaunting only more how more powerful we are than those men. (Men, no offence, but we are.)

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Need I say anything more?

Yes, we are powerful, we are strong and we can do whatever we want. Just because sometimes, we listen to the emotional side of our heads more, does not mean that when required we will not pick up the swords and run on that battlefield to crush our opponents, whoever they are women or men, friends or foes. (Just saying!)

Three Day Quote Challenge; Day1.

I have been recently nominated for “Three Day Quote challenge” by the_aestheticspirit from- https://ecstacy49.wordpress.com and Natasha Tungare from- https://natashatungare.wordpress.com

The quote I am going to share is something that I read recently and have no idea as to who has written it, but I must say that I stand by it, 100000%. Some might agree with me, and some might just not stand to even give a little thought to it. But I will share it no matter what.

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I don’t need to say anything else.

“Who am I?”

Preparing an essay on feminism I came across something which made me thinking, well, a lot of thinking happened after this. Nothing new, right? That is usually me, who keeps thinking on anything and everything.

So this is what I read today, a simple description on how women are depressed and what Friedan writes-

“I’ve tried everything women are supposed to do- hobbies, gardening, pickling, canning, being very social with my neighbours, — I can do it all, and I like it, but it doesn’t leave you anything to think about- any feeling of who you are. I never had any career ambitions. All I wanted was to get married and have four children. I love the kids and Bob and my home. There’s no problem you can even put a name to. But I am desperate. I begin to feel I have no personality. I am a server of food and a putter-on of pants and a bedmaker; somebody who can be called on when you want something. But who am I?”

I read a lot of things today, a lot which struck my mind and touched me but this dug something deep in my sub conscious mind.

That feeling, where you are absolutely helpless, when you don’t know what to do; when you question your own identity; that is absolutely depressing. And I do not have the courage to live with it. The point is I don’t ever want to have that kind of courage.

What would be the point of my life if I have to question my own identity?

You would say, why abruptly I am thinking so much, and why the question of identity? Nothing is wrong with my life, but this moved deep chords inside me.

I have never been too ambitious, no I won’t say I had no ambitions, I don’t even want too much from my life. No, I don’t want to get married and have four children, maybe I don’t even want to get married at all. May be I don’t even know what exactly do I want. But I just don’t want this feeling- the feeling of being desperate, the feeling that you can’t even name your problem, I don’t want to be that person who loses her personality, who just becomes a person who can be called on.

I cannot begin to think what it would be like to live where you don’t have anything to think about. Can you imagine, me, having nothing to think about?

I have always said, I have unending questions, that I am seeking answers, that I am searching for myself. This I can live with, a quest that might not end, where I am still searching for myself. But I might not be able to live with the question, “Who am I?” It is not even about living with that question. I don’t ‘want’ to ever live with that question.

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