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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


  • Moonmoon Chowdhury says:

    such a profound and moving poem, Mumtaz. Admire the metaphors that you have used here. <3

    • Mumtaz N K says:

      Thank you Moonmoon, this is steeped in a partition story by Rajinder Singh Bedi. I was wondering why this wasn’t read. Thank you for your lovely words.

  • Natasha Sequeira says:

    Hi dear. Infact I was looking for your entry and didn’t find it each time I looked even in the ‘latest’ poems section.
    This one is so powerful and the imagery too is spot on

  • Sonali Ray says:

    Perfect words💚
    You always amaze me with your verses.💚💚

  • Mumtaz N K says:

    Thank you dear Sonali and Natasha, was wondering why there were no comments.

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