Wednesday, 7 September 2016

"Femininity that goes unaccepted remains unforgiving" writes Nalini Priyadarshni in today's thread, her poem Ananku (which is explained below the text of the poem). 

Ananku 

by Nalini Priyadarshni

Femininity that goes unaccepted remains unforgiving
Vengeance of Kamakhya in month of Ashaad
Brahmaputra devoid of ichor
Corroding muliebrity till it shrivels into a vestigial flicker

Decades later, when lovers celebrate your womanhood
You fail to find beauty in yourself
No matter how long you gaze at mirror
reflecting your glistening nakedness
after vigor of copulation

Half hearted attempts to love what you could not accept
does nothing to assuage the annihilation
you fostered in the pit of your womb
Sown by the discontent of your mother at your birth
Reiterated into a receptacle of guilt
that outweighs rings of smoke you blow
by rolling joints of any self esteem accrued
Despite waging endless war with hirsutism

We don’t always get to choose our battles
Certainly not those that start with
a blade wedged against our necks
But end them we must, with shakta striding atop
Femininity that goes unaccepted remains unforgiving



Ananku - Female sexual power vested in menarche and mensuration mostly considered dangerous and something to be controlled. Kamakhya – The Bleeding Goddess: Kamakhya devi is famous as the bleeding goddess. The mythical womb and vagina of Shakti are supposedly installed in the ‘Garvagriha’ or sanctum of the temple. In the month of Ashaad (June), the goddess bleeds or menstruates. At this time, the Brahmaputra river near Kamakhya turns red. The temple then remains closed for 3 days and holy water is distributed among the devotees of Kamakhya devi. There is no scientific proof that the blood actually turns the river red. Some people say that the priests pour vermilion into the waters. But symbolically, menstruation is the symbol of a woman’s creativity and power to give birth. So, the deity and temple of Kamakhya celebrates this ‘shakti’ or power within every woman.

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Ananku was first published in Litterateur Online and is now part of Nalini's poetry collection, Doppelganger in my House