Monday, 8 March 2010


Here's a poem called '' by Bengali poet and feminist Mallika Sengupta, translated by Sanjuta Dasgupta, for International Women's Day. I really like this poem. I copied it from the PIW site.
Today, on our Computer Day
Come let’s place our hand on the button
This very own history of women
From illiteracy to

Once upon a time from this woman
You snatched the chance of reading the Vedas
All of you said women were just housewives
Men had the right to Sanskrit
Women’s language, the language of the Sudras was different.

After a thousand years when the girl
Prepared herself for a girls’ school
Bethune and Vidyasagar stood by her
All of you said
Women who read and write
Are bound to become widows.

Then when the woman entered the office space
Mother-in-law’s sullen face, and the husband was suspicious
All of you said
What’s the use of a family run with a wife’s money?
The woman had to fight the storms and tempests.

Inch by inch in the thousand years the woman
Has earned knowledge and power
Inside a fiery heart, tranquil outwardly
Today half the sky is in the woman’s palm

The world is an amlaki held in the woman’s fist
Just a touch of a button
One day you who had denied her knowledge of alphabets
            In her hand today is the computer world.


Feminist Review said...

A current event to add to the list of things to celebrate today: An Oscar Win for International Women’s Day! Pretty nice timing, no?

Shaista (Lupus in Flight) said...

Women who read and write
Are bound to become widows.

Wow, that's powerful. Being Indian myself I completely understand where Mallika is coming from and going to. But I think it isn't half the sky in our palms anymore, it is The Sky, the endless sky, in its infinity.

chiccoreal said...

Great poem of women sufferage. As if women's money" were not as good. Not sure of the quoted person here, Bethune? Norman? The Vedas a male domain? Today women claim the powerful goddess within. Up with Women!

Rachel Fenton said...

Yay for women - we are brill!

I like this poem too, but it still has women caught within a web...when will the virtual world become the real one?