Women, forgotten

musings

I’ve had the idea for this poem for quite some time now. I always wanted to give a voice to the abandoned women of Indian mythology and history.

urmila

(1) Urmila, wife of Lakshman (brother of Rama)

You went away, following your brother in exile

You left me, expecting me to bear my burdens with a smile

The world celebrated your unparalleled devotion

To your brother, but who understood my emotions….

Left alone to my devices for fourteen long years

To care for your family, fighting back my tears

Where my existence to you irrevocably was tied

I slumbered through those years, so you could walk with pride

Knowing that you had protected, night and day

Without sleep ever getting in your way

Your brother and sister-in-law, so he could

Establish the victory over evil, of good

Not that I would not have done as I was told-

Yet know that I placed my life on hold

Waiting for you- as your “ardhangini”

I should have been with you through your journey…

**

buddha

(2) Yasodhara, wife of Siddhartha (Gautam Buddha)

My lord, the “Enlightened One”, you are well-venerated

Your life and teachings are worldwide celebrated

For an ordinary  married life steeped in domesticity

I know you never quite had proclivity…

Towards higher things in life you were inclined

May be that is why it did not cross your mind

The grief I would go through when you left me

In the haze of early motherhood, so you could be free

Abandoned I was, for no fault of my own

With our son in my arms, left alone

To raise him without a father- I did try

Each time, to give him a satisfactory reply

When he questioned why his father, unlike others,

Was not beside him and his mother..

When you gained enlightenment, I sent him to you

From a woman of the world, I became an ascetic too

Your responsibilities towards the good of the world, I know

Were greater than those towards us, and so

I buried the pain of abandonment deep inside

As I raised our wonderful son with pride

**

Throughout millennia, in this society patriarchal

Where great men have, in legend, become immortal

Countless women have sacrificed their souls for their men

Carrying, silently, wordlessly, their burdens

I wonder if history had been different

If only these women, instead of being diffident

Had protested against the unfair decisions 

To accept which they were forced into submission…

(Image sources: 1. https://www.awaaznation.com/social-issues/urmila-hidden-warrior-great-indian-epic 2. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/529735974904082965/)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Women, forgotten

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