A Woman: my hands are no longer tied

By Farheen Sahban

If I were to lie

I would chew the truth and bury it deep inside my womb

Albeit I would groan in pain

When the seed of truth sprouts

But when my burden becomes heavier

And my now enceinte belly would no longer bear the pain

While I involuntary gasp for breath

Stoically would I drink a glass of cognizance that women like me were made to bear pain by being reticent.

While their silence coughed their lungs out

And their eyes though numb burned in sufferance; slow

Howbeit if the pain becomes unendurable

I would then bear the affliction of delivering a son of truth

One who was nurtured by the seed of truth.

This time I would teach him about the impending catastrophe

When a woman adopts silence as her response

I will teach him that women like Phoolan Devi, Neerja Bhanot, and Zubeidaa Begum need no title for their glorification.

Women like them fight valiantly on and off the field.

When the history of every indomitable woman becomes clear to him

I will bring him to my side 

And educate him about women like me who fight with their hands, bare.



A soldier woman fights in proxy of her husband supposedly dead, but she responds to his call of duty

A woman down the street fights against her schizophrenia

And laments the death of her seven unborn children.

Yet she finds her means to live in things: small and sky: blue, which smiles back at her.

An eighteen-year-old girl strives for life at the hospital bed

She reads Ghalib and quotes

“Ishrat-e-qatra hai dariya mai fana ho jana

Dard ka had se guzarna hai dawa ho jana.”

 If he trembles then, I will ask him to muffle up his swelling emotions.

And tell him how a resilient woman like me is armed with a pen

So if the next generation believes that women are abiders and defenceless

They know we are armed, we always were.

Farheen Sahban is a student of Literature at Aligarh Muslim University. Poetry speaks to her; for her, when people don’t. She believes that artists, through their art, can bring the much needed change.

Featured image source: Thiago Matos from Pexels

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