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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...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Rajshri Deshpande, who played the fiery protagonist in Trial by Fire along with Abhay Deol speaks of her journey and her social work.
Rajshri Deshpande as the protagonist in ‘Trial by Fire’, the recent Netflix show has received raving reviews along with the show itself for its sensitive portrayal of the Uphaar Cinema Hall fire tragedy, 1997 and its aftermath.
The limited series is based on the book by the same name written by Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy, who lost both their children in the tragedy. We got an opportunity to interview Rajshri Deshpande who played Neelam Krishnamoorthy, the woman who has been relentlessly crusading in the court for holding the owners responsible for the sheer negligence.
Rajshri Deshpande is more than an actor. She is also a social warrior, the rare celebrity from the film industry who has also gone back to her roots to give to poverty struck farming villages in her native Marathwada, with her NGO Nabhangan Foundation. Of course a chance to speak with her one on one was a must!
“What is a woman’s job, Ramesh? Taking care of parents-in-law, husband, children, home and things at work—all at the same time? She isn’t God or a superhuman."
The arrays of workstations were occupied by people peering into their computer screens. The clicks of keyboard keys were punctuated by the occasional footsteps moving around to brainstorm or collaborate with colleagues in their cubicles. Most employees went about their tasks without looking at the person seated on either side of their workstation. Meenakshi was one of them.
The thirty-one-year-old marketing manager in a leading eCommerce company in India sat straight in her seat, her eyes on the screen, her fingers punching furiously into the keys. She was in a flow and wanted to finish the report while the thoughts and words were coming effortlessly into her mind.
Natu-Natu. The mellifluous ringtone interrupted her thoughts. She frowned at her mobile phone with half a mind to keep it ringing until she noticed the caller’s name on the screen, making her pick up the phone immediately.
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