[A poetic reaction after reading parts of ‘The Second Sex’ by Simone De Beauvoir, French writer, intellectual philosopher, political activist, feminist, and reflecting on them as a woman from the Indian subcontinent.]
The last time I woke up,
I remember, I demanded a third space.
A space that meandered
from the hopscotch square
Of estrogen games, from the erectile brain
of testosterone urges.
A space of my own desperation of belongings
‘The Second Sex’, a requirement of my syllabus,
An elusive continent, a vociferous sea,
A torrid landscape of my own making.
Simone, I hadn’t known your name
The feel of that fiercely unwomanly woman
When in my girlhood, cascading beauty
Of princesses and heroines spilled
all over our barren courtyard,
from the basket of my grandmother’s tales.
Love was the promise of a sanctioned cacophony
Of children to be birthed, the language of coercion
As kings banished queens for sons not born,
Princes’ lip-locked with princesses,
‘Hail thee, patriarchy!’
The last time you twisted and turned us
In our dreams and sold us a ticket to witness
The vestiges of war between our own troubled selves,
I remember, we had pushed some boundaries,
But there were some barbed wires
which were better left on their own.
The last time your words entered my realm,
“One is not born, but becomes a woman,”
I remember the dark hunger, the denial,
The act of letting go, the truth of our beings.
Simone, we, the ‘other sex’, reborn, recycled
A zillion times, have been churned, fermented
Reclaiming our spaces in the fickle humanity.
Image source: Imdb.com