Any day now

Any day now

I expect

the great mother goddess

to rise in revolt

in this ancient land

that she has nurtured

with her breath and milk and love

whose rivers carry her blood-benediction

whose very earth is her body

in her we all exist…

Any day now

I expect

the great mother goddess

to shrug off her benevolence

and turn against her children

a terrible beauty

astride a rampaging tiger

or perhaps

the old crone

who dances death

any time now…

For, hasn’t she taken offence

at far less provocation

than presented by

scarred wombs

from which

have been ripped out

her own emanations

stopped from being born

because they are

what she is — female?

Any time now

I expect

the great mother goddess

of this ancient land

to fill the breasts

of us ordinary women

with her divine rage

her unstoppable courage

and then we, her daughters

will rise

ululating and angry

adorned in red

millions of mother goddesses

carrying our emanations

 in ironclad wombs…

Then perhaps

this massacre of innocents

will stop?

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10 thoughts on “Any day now

  1. When I started reading your poem, I started loving it. Because this is exactly what I feel too. But then, suddenly, it started stinking of feminism. The glorious image of a mother was replaced by the lure of socio-political justice.

  2. Dear Mr Banerjee,

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Faced with something as vile and terrible as female foeticide and infanticide, don’t you think all of us, men and women alike, should “start stinking of feminism” and submit to the “lure of socio-political justice”? Or do you think this is a women’s issue alone? I didn’t think so, but you have made me think. Perhaps men do not respond with the same sense of outrage to female foetuses being killed. As a devotee of the Mother Goddess, I can only turn to her for succour and support, hoping she will do something where all of us have failed. After all, the mother protects too, doesn’t she?

  3. You misunderstood me. I am not propagating the opinion that female infanticide or foeticide are unimportant issues. Of course not! And this, like various other issues, should be confronted by both man and woman.

    I only wanted to point out that the tone of the poem changes from glorious and beautiful to a description of the unbeautiful.

    If I may digress a little: Personally, I don’t like art that is “on-your-face”, “creating awareness”, etc. I believe description of the beautiful suffices to bring forth the ugly. One doesn’t have to see ugliness to realize it. For example, I would rather celebrate a novel describing the struggles of a young woman supporting her family than another story describing the cruelties on women. The former instills respect for women in the reader while the latter may or may not do so. What the latter certainly does, however, is to instill hatred against a majority of the illiterate rural India.
    This is, of course, a very personal opinion. The respect I talk about came to me in such a manner. It perhaps does not come like this to many others.

  4. Hi spiritwoman,

    A country for too long dominated by the male chauvinists, it is about time we had ‘feminine’ voices raised in anger.

    Even as a bloke (in case you didn’t know 🙂 )
    I personally do not have any problems with feminism.

    I see the female feoticide and infanticide a ‘man’ created problem. It is the outcome of the ‘dowry system’ going hopelessly wrong. A male child is an asset, a female child is an expenditure, for those who sincerely cannot afford – there is no way out.

    Majority of Indian males have done nothing to abolish this outdated practice. They have had enough time and opportunity to bring about changes. There must be some who would still actively encourage and perpetuate it. We are now into the 21st century for god’s sake.

    I guess, they do not have the foresight to realise that someday in the future the M:F ratio will reverse to such a degree, that to get a bride, men will be paying the dowry. It will be the turn of the male foetuses and infants to die.

    We all have a role to fight, to eradicate all the social injustice and prejudices. It can only come bit by bit, generation by generation, but never as a
    sweeping change.

    We all have to make our stand in our own little ways, even if it is a tiny gesture, but just enough to start a change, for the next generation to pick up where we leave off.

    There is no harm if the females of society makes their voice heard, in whatever possible way, be it art or a simple blog.

    Go for it ma’am, you have atleast my full support.

    (sorry for a long comment, it was meant to be just my 2 paisa’s worth)

  5. Thanks so much for the support, little indian! I really do feel all of us, men and women, need to get serious about this issue. As you say, it is deeply connected with the value that is placed on women in our society. What do people see when they look at their daughters? Dowry they have to pay in the future? And I wouldn’t blame only the men. Women too are complicit in this. That’s why there is need for a collective outrage, a collective response. And the women do need to rise and bring about some change themselves — in the way they live their lives, in what they allowed done to them. I know it’s very difficult, but the change has to begin somewhere!

  6. You’re welcome, spiritwoman.

    I will only add that I believe this is predominantly a man created problem. Even though some women may appear comlicit, many have been bullied into submission, too afraid to protest.

    If there ever is an honest poll, you may find many men who will condemn the practice of female foeticide /infanticide have no objections to the dowry system or have not indulged in it, be directly or indirectly. That is hypocrisy.

    One of the issues here is, if the “stink of feminism” is inappropriate in any form of protest against the practice of killings. I do not think so.

    Hence my support.

  7. Enjoyed this read. Female infanticide is a sad reality of life in India. Nature knows how to take care of itself. It will let us face the consequences. Mother Nature is a really good mother, she knows that punishment doesnt teach but consequences will. Soon we will head in the same direction as China, the men there cant find a woman who would want to marry them, cause the ratio of Men: Women is skewed due to their ONLY ONE child policy. Guess its Nature’s way to control the population explosion…

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