Womanhood

Bruised and beaten

I am lying on the ground

My body aches with sores

Oozing blood all around.

I have a few breaths left

And it’s a long story

But I will keep it short and bitter

And tell you my fall from glory.

Once a beautiful princess

I went by the name of Janaki

I was married to a scion

And became the heroine of Valmiki.

A happy bride I was

Basking in the glory

Little did I know

I had a different story.

I try not to dwell on past

But thoughts cloud my mind

A heavy burden I carry

Piled on by the mankind.

I was a loving daughter,

Mother and a chaste wife

And yet I am often called

The cause of great strife.

After a life of misery and pain

I found respite in earth.

It opened its lap for me

I calmly returned to the place of my birth.

Sometimes love is not enough

I learned it the hard way

But I came back again

‘Coz I had much to say.

I was again a princess

Born of holy fire.

I was predestined to a life

Full of revenge and ire.

I try not to dwell on past

But thoughts cloud my mind

I carry a heavy burden

Piled on by mankind.

I was put up for auction

And then I was divided

I was stripped of modesty

And my soul was blighted.

I saw war, death and misery

And bore all with dignity

Yet I was called a ‘kritya’

None spared me any pity.

I bade goodbye to this earth

With a heavy heart and soul

In my death I found solace

And freedom from all my roles.

The story gets repeated

In every epoch, every eon

Albeit with different characters

In varied places and forms.

Each time a woman rises

In answer to prayers and entreaties

She is put on a pedestal

And always denied justice.

Centuries of injustices

Centuries of Violations,

Have scarred our bodies deep

Beyond any salvation.

It is thus that womanhood

Lies gasping for breath on ground

It’s body aching, sore

Oozing blood all around.

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