Wednesday, May 1, 2019




Mom, so secured was I in your womb;
My life inside you was a real miracle!
My tiny feet swam in glee; my little hands cuddled you merrily;
My toothless mouth would often giggle and cackle!

Mom, so happy was I in your womb;
But, one day, some quivering clatters I could hear -
I heard someone scream and roar, "I don’t want daughters anymore!"
I sobbed as I listened to your helpless tears...

Mom, how could I smile in your womb
When I had understood that being a daughter was so bad?
My little eyes cried and heart yelled; something in me had already failed
Alas, I realized that I would soon be dead!

Mom, although I shall no longer dwell in your womb,
Your warmth and affection I shall surely miss....
To you, I shall not lie; I had not expected to die:
But fate had in store for me this deathly kiss!

Mom, so happy I am to have been a part of your womb,
Although the togetherness was destined as a short boon !
As death pounces and approaches near, I bid you a tearful adieu mom dear,
May a hundred sons be born to you soon!


They say that gone are you
Gone forever…
They say that your body has with sand mixed
All the traces of your existence taking away…

I try to grasp the facts
But my heart to disagree continues…

When your body burnt
Something called you on the ground below fell…
Grown there are small shoots of plants-
Didn’t they see?

When your ashes were in the water dispersed
A part of you touched the shores
Sprouted there is life in the form of small plants-
Can no one see?

When a part of you with the river water mingled,
A few fishes drank you bringing new zest in them-
Didn’t they see?

When the remaining of you
With the sea mixed
You brought hope in the whole world…

To a few of us solely you belonged
Till a little while ago
But now you are omnipotent
Giving your zest and enthusiasm to the whole milieu!

You are boundless
You are unlimited
You are infinite
And traces of you here and there and everywhere
Make me feel that you are still alive
In different forms!


(There is a tradition as per which the purohit (priest) has to go and beg for a handful of clay from a prostitute before the statue of Durga is cast or installed. This poem is written from the prostitute’s point of view when one such Purohit comes to her to implore for a handful of clay.)

O Purohit! I refuse to give you
A handful of clay!
Today you just can’t force me-
After all, it’s my day!

Ill- treated I am by likes of you,
I can’t even walk by your side;
Shunned, looked down upon,
Isolated, I feel; disparaged and despised!

Clones of you, at night, at my house arrive,
Play with my nipples, at my vagina eye;
But when the day spreads its cloak,
Your love disappears like a butterfly!

Heard I have that even Maa Durga
Had to dree Mahishasura’s bad gaze!
Her wrath and powers thwarted all such attempts…
But…what about us? Aren’t we innocent preys?

Hypocritic that the entire society is,
You come to my verandah today for a handful of clay!
Revered I am for only this moment,
And before me you beg and pray!

O Durga! I invoke you today!
My anger that continually burns is aflame-
I yearn, bless not these pretenders of faith,
And uplift my likes from this life of shame!


NEELAM SAXENA CHANDRA has authored 4 novels, 1 novella and 6 short story collections, 30 poetry collections and 13 children’s books to her credit. She is a bilingual writer; writing in English and Hindi. She holds a record with the Limca Book of Records -2015 for being the Author having the highest number of publications in a year in English and Hindi. She has won II prize in a poetry contest organized by American Embassy and in a National poetry contest organized by Poetry Council of India, 2016. She has received , Sohanlal Dwivedi Puraskar for children’s literature by Maharashtra state Hindi Sahitya Akademi for the year 2018, Humanity International Women Achiever Awards 2018, Bharat Nirman Literary award in 2017, Premchand award by Ministry of Railways, Rabindranath Tagore International Poetry award, Soninder Samman, Freedom award by Radio city for Lyrics along with other awards and honors. She was listed in Forbes as one among 78  most popular authors in the country in 2014.

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