We are happy to present all the poems that have been sent for SHE COLLECTIVE’s art, poetry and affirmation event on March 19.

We feel warm and fuzzy that we have been able to meld Raintree Media’s publishing work with the Under the Raintree platform for the Arts and the SHE Collective, our social responsibility channel for women and children.

Eminent writer Poile Sengupta will recite her poems while artist Shan Re paints. The six best entries selected by Poile Sengupta and Sandhya Mendonca will be announced at the venue, and the poets would be invited to read. At this event, we would like to bring focus on safe havens for homeless young girls in Bengaluru, being provided by the Dream India Network.

On display are sculptures by Romicon Revola, upcoming sculptor, charcoal sketches by Mini Naidoo and ingenious art by Sindhu Jois, a student of Chitrakala Parishat, apart from a selection of Shan Re’s artworks. We have a selection of books to browse through too.

We welcome you warmly to a morning of affirmation and friendship at Casa Cottage, Clapham Street, Richmond Road tomorrow at 10.30 am.

A TWIST IN THE TALE ~ Antra Bhargava

A slap is enough,
To put her in her place.
A slap is enough,
There’ll be no marks on her face.
No one must know,
She’ll keep it in her chest.

I own her, she must obey,
After all, I know best.
Like it or not, It’s my right.
She’ll never put up a fight.
I made a fist, for the first time today.
I felt my voice rise, for the first time today.
The anger in my head exploded,
The fear and pain went poof.
I felt power surge through my veins,
For the first time today.
I sent my arm flying,
Right through his nose.
I saw him surprised,
For the first time today.

Avala Payana ~ Dr Elizabeth Cherian



Destiny – Thy name is Woman ~ Dr Elizabeth Cherian Paramesh

A little angel so blessed with beauty unmatched
She won hearts and brought smiles
As she grew up she knew she had to traverse miles and miles
Before she blossomed to be the lady so dainty that she was

She loved ,she lived and gave her all
To family, friends and every form of life around
She tread the rugged terrains with ease
Every step was a mystery unravelled

Now the strides were getting slow
Her feet tired and steps faltered
She had walked the path long and far
She heard the stream only when she was very close

No hand to hold nor to egg her on
She went along the pathways familiar by now
She accomplished only few of her daily goals
Sometimes missing the way on the lonely journey

Her frame grew frail and vision hazy
She longed to be held and none cared
The familiar sights and smells seemed lost on her
Is the end anywhere near?



Gone Before the First Cry ~ Shivani Gowda, Dec 2013, Age 10

The mother’s cries were heard by deaf ears,
while the deed was done with cheers.

She was made to plunge into an everlasting night,
before she could see her first sight.

The baby girl would have to go,
because the parents wanted a boy to show.
Straight from her mother’s womb,
she reaches her contemptible tomb.

Not regretted is this loss,
Like a waste paper napkin to toss

O Mother India, arise,
and open your children’s eyes!


I am a Woman ~ Zarine Kharas

I tell the heart to be still
Though pain and crushed hope have left an icy chill;
And ruthlessly I still the quaver in my voice
When, as a daughter, I have to rejoice.

Each teardrop tells a story
as night rolls in and empty space beckons; without warmth or glory;
But as rays of sun tell of the approaching dawn
I smile and venture forth; as a mother I cannot mourn.

Through each day, thoughts stray and wander
Recalling dreams that died and fell asunder;
But how can I just bare the soul
For I’m a woman and that’s my role

So tall I stand to face the wind
That threatens to uproot me and rescind.
But, having weathered many a storm, I’m shaped, I’m worn
Strong and resilient, yet a much gentler form.




Intensity of Love (Shiddat-e-mohabbat) ~ Musten Jiruwala

ज़ालिम को मुंसिफ़ बनाया है मैंने
इल्ज़ाम लगाकर इंसाफ़ करेगा मेरा
दीवानो की फ़ितरत ही कुछ ऐसी है
मुंतज़िर है वो इंसाफ़ का तेरा

मोहब्बत को क़ाबिलियत मेरी क़ुबूल नहीं
मोहब्बत की चाहत का मैं क़ाबिल नहीं
इसी तरह लड़खड़ाती हुई ज़िंदगी को
ढोते घसीटते दम निकल रहा है मेरा

ज़ालिम दुनियाने निकाले है ख़ून के आँसू मेरे
वही आँसू से सजायी है इस नज़्म को मैंने
सुभानल्लाह सुभानल्लाह करेगी यह दुनिया तेरी
फिर ख़ून के आँसू रुलाएगी यह दुनिया तेरी

ग़ैरों से जीत हासिल की है हमने हर दम
कभी दोस्ती से तो कभी दुश्मनी से
अपनो की मोहब्बत से मात खायी है हमने
ना दोस्ती से ना दुश्मनी से

दम गर मेरा टूट भी जाए तो ग़म ना करना
बिखरी हुई ज़िंदगी को तुम सम्भालना समेटना
मैं था, अब नहीं हूँ उसका सुकर अदा करना
और फ़ौरन तुम मुझे भूलकर आगे निकल जाना


PIETA [Ode to Mother Teresa]~ Mini Naidoo

Come, let me pick you up
from the morass of wretched apathy;
Lift you, just a bag of bones
onto my maternal lap,
Peel away your torn and tattered rags,
Feel the parchment thin skin
barely covering your ribs,
jutting out and grazing my palms
as I run them gingerly
over your clogged-up pores;
I bathe away the stink and stench
of filthy pavements and open gutters
to reveal open, bleeding sores;
Come, let me apply balm
on your wounds,
and sing a psalm
for your wounded soul.

Come, let me hold
a glass of clean water
to your cracked, parched lips,
Feed a mouthful of gruel
into your toothless mouth
which has forgotten
what it is to be fed;
Feel it go chokingly
through your throat
and reach jerkily
into your concave belly
which has forgotten
its last meal.

Come, let me wipe your eyes encrusted,
tightly closed against cruelty,
And open them once, just once,
to see that even if
humanity has forsaken you,
there is still one human who cares.
When you leave this wretched world,
my arms will convey you directly
to the welcoming arms of God.
Come, look into the eyes of Love,
The eyes of a Godmother,
Before you close your eyes
and open them to look into God’s eyes;
You, the Son of God,
Pieta draped on my lap,
Look into eyes
dripping with piety.


She ~ Vasumathi Rao

Even as a speck in the Ocean of Life
She had to fight hands that groped and scarred 
She had to fight hands that clawed and marred 

She had to fight hands that prayed for bounties absurd
She had to fight hands that granted sons unperturbed

She had to wait for leftovers off her little brother’s plate
She had to wait for her place in sun hanging unto arms of Fate

She had to be better than the best, for anything less
She would be the butt of jest , ridiculed and a mess

She had to move out from the home of her childhood
She had to silently endure the ridiculing of her womanhood

She had to bear the burden of the man made barren dessert
She had to break free of shackles and chains and assert

That She would in her heart mother a girl in the Ocean of Life!



The fall of water on my being ~ Devika Thukral

The fall of water on my being,
My inner self,
I am all of these and more…

Inner light
Power Struggles
Mother Mary
Mother Teresa

So many facets, so many different views,
I am a woman
a woman is in me                                                


The Self ~ Anees Zehra Husain

The self cannot be encapsulated in a verse or book
To achieve thus, a lifetime of travails of the Masters it took
One has to imbibe, seek, follow and not merely look
Search , search deep within You, not found in any
Mountain, sea shore cranny or nook
To achieve this one must constantly battle the mind
For the evils attached to in it strange and dangerous zones
Ourselves will find
Hence seek the solitude and peace within your heart
By seeking refuge wherein Paradise lies , the negatives
Of the mind will die and depart
Cannot just be spoken of but to action every word,
Thought and deed
Like The Great Masters, hence focus on the heart
For in it lies the good seed of which is borne the
the fruit bearing and shade giving tree

Valentine’s verse ~ Deepak Joshi

under twisted trees

under a moon floating above drifting clouds,
in pelting rain, in howling storms,

through plagues and pestilences, and wars and droughts
where rotting corpses pile up to the skies,
in those desolate days, in careless sunny days,
when our cup spills joy and our laughing mouths ache,
in the blind fire of lust, in the divine ecstasy of life,
in the soft arms of angels, in the forgiving lap of God,
in the curse of daily routine
I will love you.

and many thousand years later,
after my body is long dead and gone
and my ashes become soil
and the soil becomes grass
and cattle devour the grass
and men devour the cattle
and die and become grass
and a billion more eons pass
until the sun’s final flare is spent
and all is cold and dark and lifeless
I will still love you.


Varadakshine Viruddha ~ BK Saroja


Woman ~ Meghana Gaonkar

There’s many stories of her love but remain the heart of it the same.
Cannot bring it to senses or the unmistakable tame.
Call her madness..call her a bundle of dancing flame.Shall this rapture you ..shall that bring you to a mystical solved game.

Of beauty for the love that will always shineShe is pain, she is insane, she is as strong as there could be a thundering rain. Lots to complain, where there’s everything to gain, she is a song you cannot explain.

Beyond all the shades of age & timeRivered forever pristine and thineAll words spoken have the same whirling divine
All things heart, all things gold, all things lifeAll the stories toldShe will be her, indescribable joy. Be it unconditional unassuming irrevocable her soul.
Call her love. Call her life. Without a she, we cannot be.
Celebrate her life, celebrate her cajolery and all that glory
With just her and her who make it an incredible being a woman journey. 
Proud as a tree, She. Me. We. Be.

You – by Guthi Jambunath

You, my half-remembered song:
I can only hum the melody
While its lyrics keep slipping by.

You, my incomplete painting:
I wish to finish but confused
My touch may disfigure your portrait.

You, my unborn utopian verse:
I can’t conceive my virgin thoughts
For they seem too tender to bear the burden.

Still, haunted by your
Vaguely elusive angelic beauty,
I daydream you in my nightmares.

You seem to remain in me forever
Just a dream – too good to be true.