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What does it mean to be a woman in this world? Is it something to be ashamed of, or something to glory in?
She never hangs her lingerie on the clothesline.
She was told women are supposed to keep their undergarments
away from the public eye.
She never stores tampons and pads in places
She hides them
in the darkest possible plastic bags.
She never gets up
without asking one of her friends:
Peeche theek hai na?
Because heaven forbid if anyone finds out
she is on her periods.
Living her life as though
she is a member of some secret society,
she secretly wonders
if it is shame
that defines womanhood;
if to be a woman means
something to be ashamed of;
if to be a woman
means to be dirty;
like the dirty laundry
that stays hidden in the closet,
quietly stashed away;
like those used, bloody tampons
that stay hidden sitting in the trash.
If to be a woman
is to be dirty,
then I don’t want the dirt
to ever wash away.
Let the stench of this dirt
This poem first appeared in Secrets & Dreams Anthology, Kind of a Hurricane Press, U.S.
Image source: shutterstock
Prerna Bakshi is a writer, poet and activist, whose work has been widely published and anthologized and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her political essays have been published in The Hindu, The Huffington Post, Countercurrents, read more...
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He said that he needed sometime to himself. I waited for him as any other woman would have done, and I gave him his space, I didn't want to be the clingy one.
Trigger Warning: This deals with mental trauma and depression, and may be triggering for survivors.
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This is a story of how a matrimonial website service turned into a nightmare for me, already traumatized by the two relationships I’ve had. It’s a story for every woman who lives her life on the principles of honesty and trust.
And when she enters the bedroom, she sees her husband's towel lying on the bed, his underwear thrown about in their bathroom. She rolls her eyes, sighs and picks it up to put in the laundry bag.
Vasudha, age 28 – is an excellent dancer, writer, podcaster and a mandala artist. She is talented young woman, a go getter and wouldn’t bat an eyelid if she had to try anything new. She would go head on with it. Everyone knew Vasudha as this cheerful and pretty young lady.
Except when marriage changed everything she knew. Since she was always outdoors, whether for office or for travelling for her dance shows, Vasudha didn’t know how to cook well.
Going by her in-laws definition of cooking – she had to know how to cook any dishes they mentioned. Till then Vasudha didn’t know that learning to cook was similar to getting an educational qualification. As soon as she entered the household after her engagement, nobody was interested what she excelled at, everybody wanted to know – what dishes she knew how to cook.