Woman, don’t raise such a hue and cry,

Of course you were raped, know why?

That poor man to his soul was sick,

Why were you out playing, at age six?

And you, at sixty, were fully clothed you claim?

Conceal or reveal, woman, your sex is to blame.

 

Oh, pipe down you! Don’t you have any shame?

You wrecked his home, life and good name.

‘You’ were duty-bound towards ‘his’ children and wife,

The helpless guy has nothing to do with marital strife.

These poor men, none of them purposely stray,

These innocent lambs to wily women fall prey!

 

Ouch! Woman, you think you can get away with that!

Screaming this man or that one is a despicable rat?

Dowry? Blame it on your ma-in-law’s greed,

Neither her husband nor yours could satisfy her need.

Nincompoops they certainly are not,

It is in the woman’s mind, all the rot!

 

Don’t waste your breath; don’t speak out for your kind,

You’ll have the others wriggling in a self-righteous bind.

You must not question, you must not object or reason,

Be not yourself, or be ready to be tried for treason

Against the harried, bullied, silently suffering tribe,

To whom not an iota of blame must you ascribe.

 

Fifty percent of your woes woman, they say you deserve,

The other  fifty percent? Your fate they wisely observe;

So don’t dare fault anyone else for all your doing,

That – do be sure woman – will be your undoing.

Of course they love you, call you a blessing and more,

But point a genuine finger at them and they’ll be sore.

 

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32 responses »

  1. Shernaz says:

    Thank you very much, Nadi.

  2. nadi says:

    Shernaz, please accept my deepest respect.

  3. Smita Luthra says:

    Wow! You have such a way with words. The poem is powerful, hard-hitting and acidic to the core. And it so convincingly portrays a reality we often choose to ignore. I admire your choice of words and the way you bring them together to convey thoughts. Will look forward to reading more.

    • Shernaz says:

      Hi Smita! Sorry I did not respond immediately because I hadn’t seen your comment earlier. You have said it well – it is a reality we often choose to ignore, for the sake of peace, for the wonderful men in our lives, for many other reasons. Your words are highly motivational and I am grateful for the unstinting appreciation. Hope my future postings will not disappoint. Thank you once again.

  4. Shernaz says:

    Dear Om, Am delighted to read this lengthy, informative, philosophical response from you. I have not gone deep into Hinduism but I too realise that the wheel of existence, of life (universal) keeps turning and what is up must come down and vice versa. But living in this moment, I write about what I see and feel in this time and age.

    Re your reference to women saints, I am doing a series of articles on them for boloji.com My first write-up was about Lal Ded, the Sufi saint of Kashmir. The second one posted yesterday is on Akka Mahadevi, to be followed by Muktadevi of Maharashtra. I will be happy if you will suggest some really obscure ones whom I can read up and write about. Thanks a ton. Shail has my email id.

    I do visit your blog on and off as I had told you I would.

    • Varun Reddy says:

      Shernaz can I have the link for the articles on women saints that you are doing?

      • Shernaz says:

        Most gladly Varun. They are on boloji.com Just two yet and another one should go online in a day or two. The recent one is on the home page so you won’t miss it. Do let me have your feedback and suggestions. Thanks.

  5. Shernaz,

    Nature/God/Almighty/Creator – whoever it was, never intended that either man OR woman dominate the other – If one goes deep into Hinduism, it will be clear that Shiva ( consciousness ) and Shakti ( energy ) cannot exist in isolation.++They are constantly in flux, and in the great cycle of time, one sex dominates the other at different time periods (even though there are many books on this subject, the most easily accessible/available will be Linda Goodman’s STAR SIGNS) – Man OR woman, is essentially a soul, which can best be illustrated when we sleep – we don’t remember who we are except the feeling that we exist. It is only in the waking state that we identify our “selves” with the body of man or woman, as the case may be.

    In a thousand years or so, woman, will be dominating everything in the world (and many believe that woman has dominated the world MANY times over thousands of years before) and in this cycle, can one empathise with the yin or yang at different time periods.

    In ancient Sangam period, which extended BEYOND the present Sri Lanka, woman was given the maximum honour and reverence, and women, RULED. When the continent submerged (Global warming of those days)** leading to the rise of Himalayas, the culture too, vanished. But in India, there were/are a number of women saints who were/are “equal” in their spirituality to their male counterparts.

    If society has, over the years, made the female aspect of the soul become subdued to the male aspect of the soul, it is sad. But the cycle will change, once again. We are relating to the present state only because we are having a reference of about 2000 years of human existence. Supposing we had a reference of, say, 3.4 lakh years, perhaps the inference would be different. Sorry I digressed into the aspect of cosmic time in a poetry blog.

    BUT ALL SAID AND DONE, YOU HAVE, PROVED ONCE AGAIN, THAT YOU ARE A RUTHLESS POET! And Shail’s much searched and selected illustration has completed the picture of women imprisoned by man’s false sense of superiority.

    ++ = this is the essence of e=mc square!

    ** – this ancient world that is so many billion years old, is not facing global warming for the first time. It has faced it many times and nature will win (abt nature’s power, pl see my blog on Hell hath no fury like nature scorned at – http://omsmusings.wordpress.com

  6. Mira Pawar says:

    Lovely Emotion in Words Shernaz! And such an apt illustration……excellent piece of work. Thanks for sharing!!

    • Shernaz says:

      Mira, The credit for finding apt illustrations for most of the posts belongs to Shail and the appreciation must go to her. Thank you for your effusive praise. It will go a long way in keeping my confidence high.

  7. sonal shree says:

    You have hit the nail on the head. Power packed verse. I really wish the ‘highly educated, reasonably forward thinking gentleman’ could read it.
    It’s so suffocating. God only knows when will such men come to their right senses and rise above such stereotypical thinking pattern.

    • Shernaz says:

      True Sonal, it can get very frustrating, particularly when people you think you know, come out with such drivel. But then such changes take aeons to come about. Till then we can only keep hoping and trying. Thanks for the feedback.

      • Varun Reddy says:

        Might not take eons, but then things change for the better most of the times… I am one of the “highly educated” chaps, but I don’t consider myself to be “reasonably forward thinking”… I need to change too… And this blog helps me, in a small way, to acquaint me with the harsh truths that exist in the society around me…

      • Shernaz says:

        The very acceptance, that one needs to change points to open-mindedness in a person, a big step ahead towards personal growth. We are all constantly learning and changing. That’s the way forward else society would stagnate. Thanks Varun for reading my work and for your frank comments, even on my last poem which you said you didn’t understand at all. I am not a male-bashing feminist, but something compels me to write about what I see around me and when the realities portrayed are harsh, the words become hard-hitting.

  8. Shernaz says:

    With your succinct words you have hit the nail smack on the head, Geetashree. Thanks.

  9. Geetashree Chatterjee says:

    Shernaz, a heavy punch on the nose of society’s age old, deep rooted and so called established norms!Kudos!!

  10. beyniaz says:

    Horrible truth set in verse. Nice one, Shernaz.

  11. Safiyyah says:

    Definitely cynical, but not far from the truth or reality. Because we live much more sheltered lives, doesn’t mean these things don’t happen out there. I have seen someone I know almost on the verge of such exploitation and somehow escaped before lasting damage could be done. Like Shail has said, a very very powerful, strong verse.

  12. Indrani Talukdar says:

    Just wonderful. No matter what happens, it is the women who must be blamed, right?

    • Shernaz says:

      Right Indrani. I am grateful for your favorable comment.

      • Varun Reddy says:

        Yeop, I blame Mrs. Bush for allowing him to become the President of the USA and Mrs. Clinton for allowing her husband to get scot free after his affair…

        Just trying to say that if we want to we can blame anyone for anything – as everyone is connected in one way or the other…

        AS someone mentioned earlier, it’s the mindsets that need to be changed… And a change=–revolution is a slow process, takes some time…

      • Shernaz says:

        The blame game is very easy and convenient to play, Varun, as our politicians consistently prove. But that does not change the truth of the matter. Yes, it is mindsets that need to change and always as Gandhiji said, the change must begin from within oneself.

  13. Dear Shernaz,

    A powerful piece of verse describing life as it is for most women all over the world. Rape, mental and physical assault/abuse is something that many women go through and endure. Many a time, as you rightly mentioned, it is all claimed to be the woman’s fault for not dressing herself well enough or being a victim to the ‘poor man’s sick mind….

    Great feminist verse. A stark and brutal depiction of reality. Keep it going Shernaz.

    • Shernaz says:

      Thanks for posting my poem here Shail as also for your appreciation. You are right, it is reality and happens all over the world. It is when the supposedly right thinking men also put forward such arguments, as I have mentioned in my reply to Vimala, that one wonders how much hope there really is for women, even after the strides being made by them in society.

  14. vimala ramu says:

    What a cynical way of expressing. Very effective, nevertheless.

    • Shernaz says:

      Vimala, It won’t be out of place to mention here, what brought about this cynical poem. Incidentally it spilled out and wrote itself after a discussion I had (last January, to be precise) with a highly, highly educated, reasonably forward thinking person, who admittedly admires and greatly respects the fairer sex. He went on about how scantily dressed women in fashion shows, ads, beauty pageants etc. were provocative and responsible. (As it is there was a spurt of reports almost every second day about rapes, age no bar. He cited the example of Shabana Azmi, saying she had irresponsibly and callously wrecked Javed Akhtar’s marriage. No one else, according to him was to blame for that!! And it was the duty of powerful women to bring about a change in society….blah…blah…

      I have come across men (all educated ones) who still believe “hansi tau phansi” and that when a woman says no she really means yes! I could go on but it would turn into a full write-up.

      Thanks for being the first to read and comment.

      • Varun Reddy says:

        Not blaming the fairer sex for that “no means yes” thingie, but men are a confused lot too… We thibnk we cannot understand women, and hence make our own assumptions w.r.t. that, which brings us to the current situation… Then we justify our actions using “facts” which we concocted from memory and have full faith in…

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