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These women from Indian mythology and history have their own stories to tell, that are hidden away under their husband’s achievements.
You went away, following your brother in exile
You left me, expecting me to bear my burdens with a smile
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The world celebrated your unparalleled devotion
To your brother, but who understood my emotions….
Left alone to my devices for fourteen long years
To care for your family, fighting back my tears
Where my existence to you irrevocably was tied
I slumbered through those years, so you could walk with pride
Knowing that you had protected, night and day
Without sleep ever getting in your way
Your brother and sister-in-law, so he could
Establish the victory over evil, of good
Not that I would not have done as I was told-
Yet know that I placed my life on hold
Waiting for you- as your “ardhangini”
I should have been with you through your journey…
My lord, the “Enlightened One”, you are well-venerated
Your life and teachings are worldwide celebrated
For an ordinary married life steeped in domesticity
I know you never quite had proclivity…
Towards higher things in life you were inclined
May be that is why it did not cross your mind
The grief I would go through when you left me
In the haze of early motherhood, so you could be free
Abandoned I was, for no fault of my own
With our son in my arms, left alone
To raise him without a father- I did try
Each time, to give him a satisfactory reply
When he questioned why his father, unlike others,
Was not beside him and his mother..
When you gained enlightenment, I sent him to you
From a woman of the world, I became an ascetic too
Your responsibilities towards the good of the world, I know
Were greater than those towards us, and so
I buried the pain of abandonment deep inside
As I raised our wonderful son with pride
Throughout millennia, in this society patriarchal
Where great men have, in legend, become immortal
Countless women have sacrificed their souls for their men
Carrying, silently, wordlessly, their burdens
I wonder if history had been different
If only these women, instead of being diffident
Had protested against the unfair decisions
To accept which they were forced into submission…
Published earlier here.
Image source pixabay
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