Tag Archives: Women

Mirror Mirror

Self image and self esteem, words closely linked yet seldom found walking in tandem.

The mirror presents to us an image, but do we see this reflection or do we see what our thoughts are leading us to see?

Now imagine this:

You walk into the room and see her lovely hair, wavy and luscious. With hair like yours curly and thick, you would give anything to have hair like hers.

The one with the wavy, long hair, wants to have hair cut short, close to her ears. She hasn’t ever had short hair, something her family would disapprove.

She looks up at the women who just entered the room and observes her skinny arms. How she wished her arms were as thin as hers, unlike her flabby arms that she always hides underneath long sleeved dresses.

The skinny armed lass would like to flaunt her skinny arms, but she is part of a culture that forbids her from bearing her arms.

She turns around to see the women who just walked in after her, her skin unblemished has a glow. Wondering in that instant, how delightful it must be to have skin so clear unlike her skin riddled with acne.

The clear skinned woman has always been the ‘darker’ one in her family. Not fair enough among the other light complexioned women around her.

The dusky skinned women looks at the curly haired woman, pondering on whether she should get her hair curled, all fizzy and bouncy during her next visit to the salon! It may look as lovely as they look on that women standing in the corner, she thinks.


On beauty: transient, coveted, yearned and misintepreted, my choice is a poem by the master of Urdu poetry, Allama Iqbal.

By Iqbal


Khuda se husn ne ek roz yeh sawaal kiya
jahan mein kyu na mujhe tu ne laa-zawaal kiya
Mila jawaab ki tasveer khana hai duniya
Shab-e-daraaz adam ka fasaana hai duniya
Hue hai rang-e-Taghaiyyur se jab namood uss ki
Wahi haseen hai haqeekat zawaal jis ki
Kahin kareeb tha yeh guftagu qamar ne suni
Falak pe aam hue akhtar-e-seher ne suni
Seher ne taare se sun kar sunayi shabnam ko
Falak ki baat bataa di zameen ke mahram ko
Bhar aaye phool ke aanson payaam-e-shabnam se
Kalee ka nanha sa dil khoon ho gaya gham se
Chaman se rota hua mausam-e-bahaar gaya
Shabaab sair ko aaya tha sogvaar gaya.


Beauty’s Essence
By Khushwant Singh

To the creator did beauty one day complain
Why did you make me of that which wanes
The world is like a hall of mirrors answered He
A tale told to pass the long night of eternity
With the clay and hues of change was it made
And it is the essence of beauty that it must decay
The moon overheard for she was not far
The news spread spread in the skies to the morning star
The star said it to the dawn, dawn to the dew extended
The secret of the heavens thus to the earth descended
The flower was heavy with tears at what the dew had said
The buds little heart burst with grief and bled
Spring fled the garden in loud lament
Youth that had come to sport in sorrow went.

The magic of Iqbal’s world can never be captured in any translation, just like the essence of beauty. The ‘Allamah’ title bestowed on him denotes the greatness of this poet, philosopher and magician of words.

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Naturally Badass

redlipsYes, yes, we are celebrating women.

Everyday when we wake up and line our eyes with kohl, we are celebrating our eyes; draping ourselves in colored fabrics, celebrating our curves; washing our hair to shine those tresses, we are celebrating what the poets call ‘zalim gesuon’ or cruel tresses.

The eyes are often referred to as the goblet of wine, able to slay with one look.

Un ras bhari aakhon mein haya khel rahi hai
Do zeher ke pyalon mein kaza khel rahi hai
Akhar Shirani

In those nectar filled eyes, shyness plays around
Like in two goblets of poison, death is playing around

 Ada, or andaz of women, often called innocent yet badass:

Is sadgi pe kaun na mar jaaye ae khuda
ladte hai aur haath mein talwar bhi nahi
Mirza Ghalib

For this simplicity who will not lay their life o lord
They fight without even a weapon in hand

And poets have never been more kind to the lips, entitling them with the power to change seasons.

Yun Muskuraye jaan si kaliyon pe padh gayi
Yun lab-kusha huye ki gulistaan bana diya
Asghar Gondvi

You smiled, like life falling on those buds
As you open your lips, blossomed gardens all around

The chivalry of these words, strengthens my view that women should be celebrated, recognized, honored and acknowledged. Not just by men, but more by women themselves.

To all the badass women in my world, I celebrate those arms you think are too fat, those eyes you think need to be kohled or look too ordinary, your hair and its waves that you think need to be straightened, those breasts you think are a size too big and that backside you wrap with pants too loose, hiding its curves into oblivion.

Badass captured by Alicia Keys, in a new promotional video for tight jeans, with her song 28000 days playing in the background.


If you have the time and have not watched this video, please do. I simply adore it!

Also this one, on aging gracefully!