Femininity that goes unaccepted remains unforgiving.
Vengeance of Kamakhya in month of Ashaad –
Brahmaputra devoid of ichor
corroding muliebrity till it shrivels into a vestigial flicker.
Decades later, when lovers celebrate your womanhood
you fail to find beauty in yourself
no matter how long you gaze at mirror
reflecting your glistening nakedness
after tthe vigour of copulation
Half hearted attempts to love what you could not accept
does nothing to assuage the annihilation
you foster in the pit of your womb
sown by the discontent of your mother at your birth
reiterated into a receptacle of guilt
that outweighs the rings of smoke you blow
by rolling joints of self esteem accrued despite waging endless wars with hirsutism.
We don’t always get to choose our battles.
Certainly not those that start with
a blade wedged against our necks.
But end them we must, with shakta striding atop.
Femininity that goes unaccepted remains unforgiving.



Ananku- Female sexual power vested in menarche and mensuration mostly considered dangerous and something to be controlled.

Kamakhya – The Bleeding Goddess: Kamakhya devi is famous as the bleeding goddess. The mythical womb and vagina of Shakti are supposedly installed in the ‘Garvagriha’ or sanctum of the temple. In the month of Ashaad (June), the goddess bleeds or menstruates. At this time, the Brahmaputra river near Kamakhya turns red. The temple then remains closed for 3 days and holy water is distributed among the devotees of Kamakhya devi. There is no scientific proof that the blood actually turns the river red. Some people say that the priests pour vermilion into the waters. But symbolically, menstruation is the symbol of a woman’s creativity and power to give birth. So, the deity and temple of Kamakhya celebrates this ‘shakti’ or power within every woman.

Read more at:

Ashaad- Month of June

Shakta- female part of divinity


Nalini Priyadarshni is the author of Doppelganger in My House and co author of Lines Across Oceans. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary journals, podcasts and international anthologies including Mad Swirl, Camel Saloon, Dukool, In-flight Magazine, Poetry Breakfast, The Riveter Review, The Open Road Review, Your One Phone Call, In Between Hangovers and Yellow Chair Review. Her poems and views on poetry and life have been featured on AIR ( All India Radio) and FM radio. Her forthcoming publications include Asian Signature, Chantarelle’s Notebook and The Writers Newsletter


Cover Photo: Vinita Agrawal

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