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She: The Revolution [#Poetry]

Posted: March 21, 2017
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“Like a warrior at war with life…She is claiming HERSELF finally…The maps are still patriarchal but she is not…following them blindly!”

Here is the second winner of our March 2017 Muse of the Month contest, Pooja Sharma Rao.

The cue for this month was from the movie English Vinglish, in which Sridevi has decided to give up on learning English after her husband speaks harshly to her. Her niece tells her then, that she cannot give up, and must go on!

She: The Revolution

An oft-quoted myth says
a man drew a line around her
to protect her from harm
and another to abduct her
used his deception and charm
She decided to overrule
Patriarchy’s given rules
and overstepped the line
not just that once
but again and several times

When she speaks now
her words are no longer
shy, afraid or careful
her thoughts her own
out of her confidence grown
Her voice is not weak or low
when she exclaims “No!”

When she dresses every day
It is whatever she may
not for them any more
her swagger and her sway
not now daunted
by shameless prying eyes
she is no longer
on morality’s leash
Men must first practice the “codes”
If they must preach

When she dances, acts or sings
She doesn’t care, no more
about the labels or the slander
or the moral brigade’s uproar
but listens to only the beat
of her strongly pounding heart
“Dear I am not your possession
My answer is my art !”

When she nurtures or parents
the future generation
She doesn’t seek glorification
the co-parent and the progeny
must offer equality and freedom
from motherhood’s platitudes
it’s time to now challenge
parenting as a gendered aptitude

When she writes
She defies their canons
their metaphors and imagery
for her body, mind and soul
She writes against the grain
and doesn’t stifle
her unabashed howl

When she chooses to love
She actually makes her choice
no longer is she owned
by birth, status or family
to be given or taken
between men as a
lifeless commodity

When she looks at herself
She no longer believes
in the clichés and the norm
Darker, heavier, taller, shorter
She wears her skin with aplomb

Like a warrior at war with life
She is claiming HERSELF finally
The maps are still patriarchal
but she is not
following them blindly!

Pooja Sharma Rao wins a Rs 250 Amazon voucher, as well as a chance to be picked one among the top winners at the end of 2017. Congratulations! 

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Pooja Sharma Rao

Pooja Sharma Rao

I believe I am poet's soul who is an online content consultant/writer/editor/translator by profession and a blogger by coincidence. All my formal education has been in the English language and I have an M.phil in English literature,but my soul babbles in Hindi as much as it does in English. Issues of gender,race,identity have always intrigued me.I read Chinua Achebe, Emily Dickinson,Eve Ensler, Salman Rushdie and Khaled Hosseini in the same breath as I do Premchand,Harivansh Rai Bachchan,Gulzar, Paash and Sadat Hasan Manto. When not working or reading I write for my blog and learn life lessons with my daughter.My poetry is about my conversations with life and the pauses in between. My works have been published in several reputed online journals and print anthologies in India,UK and Canada like the Rupkatha Journal of Interdiscplinary studies and a few poems can even be read with a hot cup of coffee on the walls of The Human Bean Cafe,Toronto. A voracious reader, I am a tea connoisseur, love to travel and am deeply influenced by Sufi and Zen philosophy. Both my blogs have been awarded at the #OrangeFlowerAwards 2016 in Poetry (English) and Hindi blogging categories respectively.

Author's Blog: http://www.poojasharmarao.blogspot.com/

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  1. Sangeetha Jaganathan

    Congratulations Pooja, a wonderful read!! I loved these lines – overstepped the line, not just that once, but again and several times!

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