Yes, All Men

Dear Men (yes, all men),

Today, on the occasion of International Men’s Day, I will not belittle your entitlement by questioning why you deserve a day to celebrate you. I wish to celebrate you every day just as I wish for you to cherish every woman, man, child, person on earth.

I wish that you’d find the strength to overthrow the shackles of toxic masculinity that has burdened you as much as patriarchy has smothered women through the ages.

I wish that you may realise how empathy is not a sign of weakness but of sheer strength. It takes courage to be able to put yourself in someone’s else’s shoes, because we as humans have always put ourselves, our experiences and opinions foremost.

I wish that you may identify the conditioning you’ve been subjected to about how a man should behave, dress and think. I hope that you know it’s you alone who gets to decide what’s right or wrong, what to feel, say and advocate.

I wish you may be able to see that you’d be loved in equal measure even if you are unable to don the mantle of a protector at all times. Your vulnerability is not a chink in your armour, it only makes you more human and loveable.

Most of all, I wish that you would get to just be. The person that you are. Without being boxed within the definition of a man. I’d love for you to live and laugh freely. Feel freely. Express freely. Love freely.

Happy men’s day!

Love,

Varnika

She Smiled to Conquer?

A gaping hole peered through

Where once a glass ceiling was

Up high

Smiling down at the shattered remnants

A statue of Lady Liberty

Majestically rose

Eons it’s taken

With decades still to go

For the delicately strong lines

Of the Sculptor to show

Writing destiny

Across a marble-like

Pristinity

The Face of a Woman

But what will you do, my dear,

When the day of reckoning is here?

For in this world, on lies and deceit you’ve thrived,

And let truth venture nowhere near.

Will you sweet-talk your way

Out of eternal damnation?

Or will you submit yourself to be judged

Through a chaffing trial by fire?

Or will you kneel, accepting defeat

Because of your innumerable wrongdoings?

Continue reading “The Face of a Woman”

Whisper and the Roar – Poetry Feature

Hello, beautiful people!

Have you heard of the literary collective called “Whisper and the Roar”? Considering the overwhelming response I’ve been getting on my feminist poems and posts, I thought now would be the right time to introduce this incredibly brave and unapologetically feminist forum to you all. And, guess what? Sometimes its curators are kind enough to feature my works. Like today, for example! I’m so proud of myself for having done an excellent job at hiding my excitement right up to the last line one here!

If you stand for humanity, equality, love and compassion for all, please visit the collective. Its bound to either enrage your senses at the glaring injustices present in our society, or to give you hope that there are people working hard to put an end to it all and create a fair environment for everyone to grow and thrive in. Either way, you’d get a taste of soul-stirring literature. Today’s feature is a poem I wrote last week, titled “No Ordinary Fairytale”. Please click here to go to the collective and read it. I would love to have your feedback on it!

Thank you for reading.

Love,

Varnika.

Unburnt

Swam through a pool of fire

And emerged unscathed.

Learned to run without training wheels,

Realised I could fly, growing wings.

Tried to keep my tears under wraps,

Found my smile bedazzling the world.

Never heard a word of encouragement,

Yet my voice resonated with profundity.

Trials, tribulations.

Failures, successes.

Miseries and triumphs –

The sum total of my achievements

May yet be far from even numbers.

But the life that I am living

Will not douse like dying embers.

For more poetry, please click here. Please leave your thoughts and comments down below, I’d be delighted to get a feedback. Thank you for reading!

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Lather.Rinse.Repeat

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

A girl’s daily cleansing ritual.

Twice a day ’tis needed

To lather, rinse, repeat.

The first to rejuvenate in the freshness of the morning.

The latter to clean away the grime of the day.

To scrub off the leers that men through along your way.

To wash off the stench of unwanted advances.

And of jeers hidden behind subtle nuances.

To drain away the suds of patriarchy’s condescension.

A gentle foam to soothe over all scars

From breaking glass ceilings.

A circular motion to ward off memories

Of lewd gestures made by men.

It’s called a mindless pattern of repetition

Without critical thought.

But in this society’s construction

Let this age-old idiom be your protection

And never, ever should you forget

To lather, rinse, repeat.


For more poetry, click here.

For more on feminism, click here.

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Scheduling Error 

Due to a scheduling error, one of my poetry posts got messed up and might not be visible to most of you. I’m sharing the link here. I hope you enjoy reading it and give it the love and support you’ve been so kind to provide to all my other poems too. Thank you! (Please don’t let the mess-up stop you from reading it, it’s very close to my heart, so, pretty please?)

Here’s the direct link: Lather.Rinse.Repeat.

Feminism in Fiction

A few days ago, I expressed my angst and ire at the incredibly sexist portrayal of women in fairytales. They’re shown as damsels in distress without fail. One cannot even begin to imagine how detrimental such images are to the impressionable minds of young girls growing up
to believe they need to wait for someone to come rescue them. However, I also mentioned Disney Films were changing this perspective now with their recent crop of movies. Then I went on to expound upon how the character of Princess Devasena from a South Indian movie, Bahubali, was a lesson in feminism and a breath of fresh air.
Sarah, from Written Word Worlds, has very admirably made a compilation of Feminism in Fiction and I’m sharing her work here for your benefit.

Oh, but she’s a woman!

“Oh, but she’s a girl.”, they said,

As she was born and didn’t wail.

“Oh, but she’s female.”, they said,

As they hired a less meritorious male in her stead.
“Oh, but she’s about to be a mother.”, they said,

As they passed her over for a promotion yet again.

“Oh, but who’ll look after the family?”, they said,

As they crushed her dreams in lieu of her husband’s.

“Oh, but who’ll carry forth the family name?”, they said,

As they made her do household chores and sent only her brother to school.

“Oh, but she’s a woman!” they exclaim,

As she changes paradigms to carve out her place.
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