I am an Indian woman.. of

(This poem has references to the stories of Sita from the Indian epic Ramayana, Draupadi from the Indian epic Mahabharata and Rani Padmini, who was a Queen in the modern state of Rajasthan in the 13th century. Most Indians have some familiarity with their stories.)




I was a goddess supposedly

That was not enough to let me be free

To have a voice, to be able to protest

Decisions unjust- at my husband’s behest

I had to leave my palace in a delicate state

Be banished to the forest-such was my fate

Decided by gossip his majesty overheard

I did not even have a chance to say a word

About my innocence-mind you, I had already

Walked through fire to prove my chastity

That was after months of humiliation

That I had faced in my imprisoned situation

Throughout my life decisions had been made

By the men in my life, the path for me had been laid

Goddess I might be, but the rules of patriarchy

Did not prevent me from blemish, you see



You know a colossal war was fought over me

That changed the course of Bharatvarsha’s history

My husbands fought gallantly but I must say

They had the cowardice to gamble me away

I was violated publicly, my crime had been

To make fun of Duryodhana which he had seen

As an affront to his male ego, this, in a world

Dominated by patriarchy, a monster unfurled

After the war, on our heavenward journey

I was the first to fall, bringing more humiliation to me

My sin- to one of the five, partiality I had displayed

Love was not a choice I was allowed to have made..


Rani Padmini


Little did I know what would ideally be

A positive quality would turn out for me

A death sentence-what was worse

The women of my kingdom fell with me, such was the curse

Of my beauty- that caused a battle to be fought

Tragedy struck, without our men, our lot

Was doomed- patriarchal rules were such

That honor was important, life not so much…

So we committed large-scale harakiri

This forced cowardice, ironically, is labeled bravery..


Modern Indian woman


We talk about strong women in our culture and history

Yet on closer examination you see

That their stories follow ultimately

Rules established by patriarchy

So when I fight for gender equality

I am fighting thousands of years of history

The patriarchal mindset is deeply ingrained

In both women and men- though we have gained

Some ground in addressing this issue deep-seated

Frequent crimes against women leave me feeling defeated..

We need to change mindsets, one by one

Starting with our daughters and sons

Published by iheart11

A 30-something year old woman, physician by profession, fiercely passionate about work, family, travel and fashion..

4 thoughts on “I am an Indian woman.. of

  1. Greetings! I love your work and how thought evoking it is. You’ve tackled big ideas and concepts with your writing!I’m in love with your work and a huge fan😊 I was wondering if you could check out my new piece on stereotypes that create hostile sexism and sexist humour. And I would really appreciate it if you could comment some feedback to improve the writing style. Looking forward to hearing from you. – Kiran


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