A touch-me-not shies away from feel,
Should a woman do so too?
Is that why she’s named Lajwanti?
Lajjo, she’s called by dear ones,
Who abandon her, when she becomes unchaste,
Merely because prying lusful eyes have combed her being,
Or a rough touch invades her body.
Perhaps, her silence speaks like a river talking to the vastness of a sea,
Flowing down with sediments and memories.
How can an alien gaze understand
Her burgeoning like a banyan tree?
To jealous eyes who guard women , like land,
She’s merely one who holds seed
Which is to be harvested. Then her womb
Becomes fallow, to be rejuvenated
And then tested for another yield,
Another piece of land in captivity.
The landlord thinks he has fenced the land
But can he cage its wild spirit?
Much as he tries, weeds come back
Butterflies and birds flutter around it,
Succouring the serenity.
Will the world ever understand her?
That, her whimsicality arises
From hidden secrets, fears and tears, and her need
To foster despite the winter of her reality.
Mumtaz N Khorakiwala
(Batool Idrish Siamwala)
Picture courtesy: Annie Spratt