Woman at Work

“We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.”

Malala YousafzaiDSC_0795.JPG

The week starts off with a list robust

Of things to do- she gets cracking, but first

An adequate dose of caffeine she needs

To get her galvanized into action indeed

The list is long, but in her view

It is exciting to have more things to do

It brings out her efficient, no-nonsense way

She means business, her manner conveys

Working without breaks, targets she exceeds

By making secondary her personal needs

In a brutally competitive, male-driven sphere

She has chalked out her strategy, her goals are clear

She arrives early to work, late she leaves

To be on equal footing with the men, she believes

Her industrious and dedication would certainly

Lead her to the top echelons eventually



Whether she was naive to think so

I cannot say, I do not know

But in this world with its warped ways

Where discrimination occurs in myriad ways

Her workaholic tendencies were misconstrued

And given a sexual context, this was so not true!

Credit for her productivity was claimed

By someone more powerful, with a “Mr.” to his name

As you can guess, the opposite gender acted in collusion

To sabotage her chance of landing the coveted promotion


She was angry, hurt, disappointed

She blamed herself until someone pointed

To her that it had nothing to do 

With anything except her gender- sad but true


Unfortunately this story is not unique

Women are subject to unfair critique

In their workplace, especially if they are 

Good at what they do, they don’t  get far



She is learning to fight her battles, learning to say “no”

I hope one day she shall be the CEO!






Woman and Society

venetian thinkerAh, you fickle society

With your norms arbitrary

Established by those in authority-

When will you learn to deal with me?


If I did possess, proudly

Alluring, exquisite beauty

If I were willing to sacrifice

My intellect, often perceived as a vice

You would know where to place

Someone like me, just a pretty face..

If I were meek and willing forever

To lean on a broader (?stronger) shoulder

You would readily be able to

Put in a box, label me, wouldn’t you?

If my eyes dripped of vulnerability

You would look at me quite comfortably..

To parochial authority if I could submit

My desires, aspirations if I could forfeit

I would merge in your fabric

Seamlessly, without perturbing your rubric

If I never raised a voice of dissent

Never ventured beyond the extent

Of liberties allotted to me

By those who think they shape you, society

I would live life predictably

Fitting right in, respectably..


Ah, my dear society, you see

I do not fit in those molds, unfortunately..

Underdosed in beauty I happen to be

Wit and intellect were bestowed on me

In reasonable quantities-

Your irrational vagaries

Exasperate me, I am forced

To say things that are not endorsed

By your members esteemed

Therefore, to me it has often seemed

That my chutzpah makes it difficult for you

To be comfortable with me, isn’t that true?

Afraid I am not, no shoulder I need

(I can offer my delicate shoulder indeed)

In your carefully woven tapestry

I clearly stand out like a jarring accessory

I speak my mind, sending your members

Scrambling for suitable answers…

Your stereotypes fail to classify me

We need a middle ground that I don’t see

I keep hoping someday we shall find

A way to celebrate both beauty and mind!














Venus and Mars at workplace

gender gapWe live in a modern society, we think we have made strides

In the realm of gender equality, bridged gaps wide

Women are liberated, work in every sphere

Yet discrimination at workplace remains a valid fear

For women from all walks of life- sometimes disguised

In condescending tones, full of patronizing advice-

At other times overt, with inequality in pay

That persists in many professions even to this day

Sexual innuendos we hear frequently

Disparaging remarks are quite common, evidently

Support and mentorship are hard to find

To get ahead, we need a razor sharp mind

With the right measure of chutzpah, the right attitude

Navigating the workplace expertly requires fortitude..

This constant barrage of challenges unfortunately

Tends to be stressful, causing extra anxiety

Yet we working women continuously strive to do

Our best at all times, at work, and at home too

Despite all our efforts we fail to applaud

Our achievements, we keep feeling flawed

Thus perpetuating the undercurrents of discrimination

We need to be better in our own estimation!


Tall words, I know, but this opportunity is mine

To celebrate the greatness of all female minds!









Vertically challenged

shortThere have been many times I have lamented

My height, or lack thereof, the idea firmly cemented

In my mind that the world respects stature in every way

A towering presence can make heads sway

The world is designed for people much taller than me

Thus I suffer in “high” chairs, my legs dangling aimlessly

I need footstools to reach everything in sight

I spend fortunes on tailors, it just does not seem right

I have forced myself into painful high-heeled shoes

To gain  vertical advantage, but what’s the use

In a world where six feet tall models don

Six-inch heels, such battles simply can’t be won

I do long to make a noticeable entrance

Into a room, to have a commanding presence…


This was how I felt in my younger years

Age has brought wisdom, quelling my fears

That being short I would be ignored forever-

That a commanding presence I would have never

As I gather years, more confidence I acquire

Not shy to state my opinion, I say what my heart desires

Within the realm of reason, of course- I have found

That I have gained attention and respect from people around

Me; my presence is noted where I contribute

Through my skills and knowledge, these are the attributes

That overshadow my being challenged vertically

This has changed my outlook dramatically-

And at the end, a closely guarded secret I’ll share

I look younger, being petite, despite my greying hair! 

In case you are wondering, yes I am quite short.

(Image source: Pinterest)











The Weight of Expectations


Fed on a steady diet of regulations and norms

Presented in every manner and form

From what to say, how to, to whom, and when

From how to be seen and not heard as a woman

Sartorial choices, type and level of adornment,

Narrowly defined, giving way to resentment-

Navigating the narrow alleys of behavior acceptable

She grew up, often confused, sometimes unable

To reconcile the dictats of her heart and mind

Sometimes  a common ground she simply could not find

Between what her heart thought was right, what the mind refused

The results of this quandary left her no longer enthused

Over the prospect of trying to follow her heart’s desire

She thought is was best to douse such a fire…


Ah…but the fire that smolders deep inside

Its heat makes itself known, it is impossible to hide

So her heart’s desires that challenged many social norms

Could not be prevented forever from taking form

The urge was powerful, and she did learn

To ignore the society at many different turns

And follow her heart, because she realized


The number of people who she feared would criticize

Her choices were few, not many people cared

About what she did, she had been needlessly scared..


Now in her thirties, an independent woman is she

Her personality is a reflection of her individuality

She dresses the way she pleases, oh yes, she is loud

She sings to herself, she can swing with the crowd

There is but one thing she refuses to wear-

The weight of others’ expectations, on this, she is clear!

(Image source: http://www.fearlessmotivation.com/2015/09/23/10-of-the-most-powerful-inspiring-quotes-on-expectations/)







On Women’s Day


Worldwide we celebrate the day today

As International Women’s Day, 

Calling to attention the valuable contribution

Of women to our society and organizations

It is supposed to be a day to applaud women

All over the world, in a world dominated by men

I personally find this celebration offensive

Somewhat, let me explain without being too defensive

Women and men contribute in equal measure

To the running of this world, each gender has its treasures

And yet we celebrate women’s day which to me

Is proof that women and men are not treated equally

Both genders are different, each with strengths unique

Both can be strong, both can at times be weak

For equal work, equally they should be treated

By celebrating this day, the essence of equality is defeated

Let us acknowledge women for who they are, every day

Such that the need for a special day to “celebrate” them goes away.




The Somnambulist


Night after night she rose from her bed

Voices clamoring for attention in her head

Propelling her forward, one foot in front of other

In a measured cadence, nothing could bother

Her as she somnambulated out of the door

Her steps always halting once she reached the shore

Turning back once touched by the waves of the sea

She sleepwalked home each night subconsciously…


This was the price she had to pay

For her life that was saved on the fateful day

When she managed to get safely ashore

From the sinking boat full of refugees more

But in the process she found herself separated

From her brother, who was ill-fated

He perished in the ocean, too weak to hold on

To the sinking boat, in a blink he was gone…


While she settled in a new country she was left

With grief and guilt, of happiness she was bereft

The war she had faced, suffered parental loss

Yet had the courage to attempt to cross

The vast ocean, determined to fight for

A better life for herself and her brother- 

But when he died, a part of her broke for ever

Causing her to sleepwalk, propelled by terror..



Life continued to favor her, as if she were chosen

To be the star survivor among women and men

There is only one remedy for ills of the mind

Lucky are the ones who true love can find-

That is what entered the life of our lass

Love so deep, so wide it could encompass

All the terrors that haunted her every night

Sleepwalking turned to passionate strolls in moonlight

I shall end this story here, her life’s on an upward swing

After the dark winter of war, it’s finally spring!