Tag Archives: women issues

The Time I’m My Period.

Just the other day I shared a very powerful poem ‘Half World’ by a Telugu poet, and here I am today, sharing yet another AMAZING piece by a Tamil writer K. Geeta. Again I had to find the translation in English to read it, but here it goes.

The Time I’m My Period. (I am not sure with the title, my translation version says so.)

When the whole body is frozen into an abscess

When a private mount explodes silently

I make efforts vain to catch the pain in my grip

All of a sudden it gives a jolt

I in myself, solid becoming liquid

Then become a solid again

And then shattered to pieces.

Every month, having no other go

I transform myself into pain

Dead

Unable to plaster the wound that would’nt surface

Unable to grind the ribs into powder

Even unable to draw myself into a bundle of cosy sleep

Embracing the thirty-six hours of turbulence

Unable to remain a forced untouchable

Walking forward a few paces in civilisation

Becoming gasping leaps and sprints

Desiring to flatten the spine on the anvil

Toying with the idea

To bundle this bother with chains of iron

Again and again, once in every thirty days

Taking rebirths one after another

The period when crushed in gut-twisting agony

This period …

The problem does not lie only when people shy away with the topic, but even today their are many myths and beliefs associated with it. Not going into the details much here, I’d safely say that those beliefs should not be thrown on women, it’s on them if they believe in it or not.

Even today we have people who shy away with the topic of menstruation, and it is indeed a powerful poetry that I strongly stand by. Some people tend to take it so casually, never understanding the amount of pain that a woman’s body goes through and those hormonal changes which she is herself unaware of, in those days, every single month, almost her entire life.

The Subtle Irony Of Being A Woman!

Hello fellow bloggers and readers,

Today, I am thrilled.

The only reason for this is, a dear fellow blogger, PSEUDOMONAZ had invited me to write a Guest Blog Post for her page, and she has accepted and published my simple and very plain thoughts. She has a category “On the other side of silence’ where she posts wonderful pieces of writing concerning women. Do, visit her.

This being my first blog post, I am ecstatic.

Now, without boring you much, I will share the direct link to the post here, and if you do get a chance to read it, please let me know what you think about it.

https://pseudomonaz.wordpress.com/2018/07/27/on-the-other-side-of-silence-the-subtle-irony-of-being-a-woman/

Thanks!!

Half World!

Reading Indian Writing, I came across a wonderful Telugu poem. Unfortunately my lack of knowledge in language, forced me to read the English translation.  Nonetheless, it definitely reached my favourites.

I could not find it over the internet, but I take the liberty to share the translation here, which I found in a Pdf file.

 

Half World

Arthanareeswara – half woman, half Eswar

You say, or, half of the sky

Both sound the same.

Cleaving the globe vertically into two

Half light and half darkness

Darkness is only the shadow of light

That’s the lesson taught at school in childhood.

 

Three rooms in our home:

Drawing room, bedroom, and kitchen

One half is mine

For my hubby the drawing room

For me the kitchen

For us both, the bed

Responsibilities we share half-and-half

Bearing the baby mine,

Giving the family name, his.

 

When dusk falls

Shivers in the spine

Wailing hearts

On being raped

As though rising from graves

Before lamps run out of oil

Spent matchsticks

If these snigger and tease

If wan and feeling wretched

The differences aeon-long

Are those of light and dark.

 

Groping in the dark

Claiming half world as mine

How long can I feign Urmila’s* sleep?

Not in the answer sheets in the exams alone

For life too should a margin be given.

Life should be securely held and protected:

Even from the one to whom the heart is given.

 

(*Lakshmana’s wife in the Ramayana. She spends all her life in sleep during his exile.)

 

-S. Jaya

This reminds me of so many poets, Plath, Kamala Das… And all I can do is read this again and again.

 

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. 

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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The Last Name Drama

We were just sitting at the tea table, sipping some tea when the conversation began between me and my mother. Of course I don’t remember how it started, but it ended quite abruptly and not in good terms. And I will admit from the beginning that I might not have been the sweetest and the most patient person then.

Watching TV and discussing about God knows what, we started discussing about the name change of a woman post marriage. All I had said till then was that a woman has the right to decide if she wants to take her husband’s name or not. And just then, she blasted. “What do you mean that it is on her to decide? Are you implying that you want to keep your name after marriage? Do you not understand how your in-laws are going to react when they find out about that? They will only think that you never accepted them if you don’t change your name. And what about your husband, how is he going to feel?”

And that is when I broke the spell, and asked her to hold her horses.

“Mom, please calm down, I am not getting married now. And I just said that it is on a woman to decide, I did not say what I am going to do. And after this you have made me realise that it is almost a rule according to you. Not changing name isn’t exactly acceptable.”

“No, no, you don’t want to change your name, don’t change, you handle your new family then, I will not interfere.” And started the emotional drama.

“Yes, I will see what I will have to do then.” And we continued watching TV in silence, and after a while I left the room.

*

I might have over-reacted but she might have too. I was just passing a general comment. I am really not getting married now, and honestly, I haven’t even thought about such things. Just the fact about getting married scares me now, let alone the thought of changing names.

And yes,, I still stand by what I said, it is on her to decide what she wants to do. Anything forcibly is not accepted.

And honestly, just how much trouble we have to go through to change names everywhere, on each and every identity cards, not to forget the social media where we have the trend of having two last names.