I celebrate Women’s Day with a few of my previous poems plus some recent thoughts.

sweet tears



at the point where night bids farewell
she raises her head, crowned
by a pallu of sizzling red, gold
a slender mangalsutra enhances
her slightly inverted neck

the strongest of henna
the darkest of kohl
the boldest of kumkum
a piercing flame from the nath

as ittar fades into memories of
a thousand jasmine buds
crushed in vain

with the gentlest demeanor
she did but bide her time

sweet were her tears
what could she do?
he swindled even the salt from her life


pallu – the trailing end of a sari, red and gold are bridal colours

mangalsutra – auspicious necklace of black beads and gold worn by a Hindu woman after her wedding

kumkum – red/vermilion powder used for bindi on the forehead and/or applied in the parting of a married woman’s hair

nath – referring to the nose ring worn by a bride

ittar – perfume made from flower petals


It is International Women’s Day and this poem is a (spontaneous) dedication to all the women who understand the crushing of hopes, but never in vain.


This poem was inspired by @temporal3‘s prompt on Twitter provided by 
(I have used them in the following contexts:
Raised up by a Crane
Crown of the Crane
Craned her neck)


Photo Credit


The Lady of Light

Though we identify light as revealing
The Divine’s noor acts as a veil, to protect her
Adorned by surahs, expressions of the revelation
Only she could counter humiliation with even more dignity
The confluence for defined and unperceived truths
Her presence was a mere tip of a mystical iceberg
A mother, an exceptional lineage

Would I be granted 
Just the dust of patience she possessed
And a flicker of her fortitude toward injustice

She remains a name unfamiliar, yet sanctioned
She remains the Lady of Light, az-Zahra


Respectfully dedicated to Lady Fatima, the beloved daughter 
of Prophet Muhammad and the adored wife of Imam Ali

This poem was created upon request and I felt it fitting to share it on Women’s Day.
Lady Fatima set an example to the women of the world to stand up against injustice and fight for what is rightfully theirs.

* Noor – Light
** Surah – chapter of the Quran


the pedestal cracks

woman created as
a symbol of fertility
an inspiration for architecture
a cradle for divinity
a source of poetry
and a mother’s blessing
at her feet lies
your paradise *
a sister’s tenderness
with a fragile thread
a bond declared **
a daughter’s adoration
a lover’s seduction
and a wife’s devotion
from pheras to the pyre ***
… and beyond

but she is turned into
a goddess or
an unwanted 
to hurriedly marry off

a pariah blamed for
the death of her consort
an untouchable
a caste of her own

and the pedestal cracks…


This poem was inspired by the stunning photography and the heartwrenching story about abandoned widows in India. Please read more in this article Glimpsing Durga Among India’s Abandoned Widows


Photo Credits: Sharmistha Dutta


I celebrate Kathini on She was a victim of a recent matatu (minibus) accident with severe injuries. She almost lost three of her fingers, and has not yet removed all the glass splinters in her hand. Regardless, two weeks later she returned to work, supplying us fresh vegetables and fruits.


Photo Credit: Sonya Kassam


I celebrate my mother, I celebrate her grace and charm, her faith, her generosity and her attention to detail.

I celebrate my sisters, I celebrate our friendship, their guidance and their support. One of them keeps me level-headed and on track, the other one encourages my zany side.

I celebrate my daughters, they are my teachers for life, they are slivers of my soul.

And finally, I celebrate me. I celebrate swimming against the tide and keeping my head above water (just about!)

All I had to do was wait
If only I knew how…

Even though I never knew how, I realise now that I do wait. I celebrate!


Womens day

13 thoughts on “Celebrate!

    1. Yes I had a lump in my throat while watching the video. What a horrible end to a life and I am sure these women have sacrificed their lives to take care of their families. If anything, they should be worshipped!

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