Culture & Society

Poems: On Middle-aged Love And Sita Of Today's World

Gunjan Joshi explores the themes of women and love through her poems

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Love At Middle-Age

What is love for me in middle-age?

When days are like mural wounds.

The society has bartered amicably,

A woman’s refuge with a construct.

Which has been architectured carefully,

For centuries in your favour.

So I would call it yours,

And not mine.

Or would you make it mine?

You will build it in your raging kiln,

But would I not burn in that conflagration.

Then what do you discern of love!

To lose my soul in your contrived construct,

Or to strengthen it so that it flourishes.

Would your interventions be!

Compulsive, excessive, or avoidable.

Or salubrious, unifying, and palatable.

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Also love at every age seeks efforts,

And would it not only be mine,

In the form of sacrifices and lost opportunities.

You also should not take away,

My crucibles, scars, and wounds.

As those shaped me and live in me.

Lastly whenever they see you and me,

With fairly scrutinising eyes!

Would they see a distinct me away from you?

Sita In Today’s World

I am a Sita of today’s world,

No Ram is not the reason of my being!

As it is construed by ancient folklores.

And film renditions of Ramayana.

Neither I drink slow poison of love,

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Shoved into my throat by him,

And his loved ones.

Nor will I leave my everything for him.

Let him take care of his territory,

On his own while I chalk out mine.

I am known for my naivete,

My wit, silent scribbling and flora

Of my mountain homeland.

I am demure only with my special lover.

And words of wisdom and ideals,

Swoon me more than verses of passion.

The pure scent on my wrist and,

Sweet cadences of my saree’s pallu,

Match the intellect and synchrony,

Of the verses that I write!

My only ornaments are poetic tools,

Tied in the string of verses.

And thick tomes from the past.

I became her when I did not,

Confine myself in the conventions.

The way she fended for her sons alone.

I became her when I refused to relent,

To the vicious circle of love and ignominy,

As she revolted against his kingdom,

By exhuming her.

Above all I detest the idea of,

A goddess or a queen.

As I just wish to be a woman,

Honoured for her craft, earthy, and sensual.

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