Every Woman

This was something I had written in 2001. Still relevant I guess.

Please do feel free to give feedback. Thanks 🙂


The mother of all souls

The seed of all thoughts

I chose to be a woman.

To live through the pain

To grow through the shame

To crawl through the cage

Of love and ecstasy

Of acceptance and bliss

Of sunshine and rain

Of rejection and hate…

I am every woman.

I am the mother

You never could see

I am the sister

I am the friend

I am the lover.

I am the one

Who chose to be…

A woman in this lifetime

To live through karmas

You can barely imagine.

To live through

One more life

Of giving

Until all that’s left

Is the shell

That was me.

But this

Is the end of the road.

No more pain

No more shame.

I give up the cage

I give up the hate.

I shall no longer

Bewail my fate.

I free myself

From the chains

That I chose to

Bind myself with

Before life began.

I choose to be

All the woman

That I am meant to be.

I am every woman

The world sees.


Binu Sivan

5th Feb, 2001

Cinderella – A Modern Take

Hi sharing a poem I wrote in 2012 as part of a writing workshop I was conducting for two of my friend’s daughters. We decided to revisit the fairy tales and give them a modern twist.

A 100 or maybe 1000 years ago, in a rather grim tone

Two brothers sat down to write a tome

About the ideal girl they’d like to meet

Pretty, timid, servile and sweet.

Needless to say an hour or so prior

Their landlady had threatened to set fire

To the two and their literary volumes

For non-payment of their dues.

They wrote about this girl and named her Ella

Who’d never lose her temper or ever grumble at these fellas

Who’d take all their bullshit

Serve ‘em tea, catch the mice and laugh at their wit.

They made her a beauteous being

And then they gave her a stepmother, real mean

A cross between their landlady and her surly brother

She had two other daughters to mother.

The brothers made sure that Ella’s two step-sisters

Were fashioned on the neighbourhood spinsters

Ladies who called a spade a spade

And in the bargain remained a maid.

Over the next few 1000 years, the characters became real

Living, breathing and dreaming in every single girl

Who thought it their duty to be pretty but dull

A million girls who tried to be servile

While the men, like the legendary prince, tried to be virile.

And then one day a girl looked up

And said, WTF I really hate getting dressed up!

She felt it was more fun

To join the spinsters for some rum

And a few dirty jokes about the prince and a naughty nun.

The prince, in the modern tale, waited at the ball

For the legendary beauty, fair and tall

But she was on her 3rd peg and joke number six

About another prince and his dirty, secret tricks.

The young prince did not really mind

That the ball had slipped the young beauty’s mind

Cause all said and done he preferred the older of the step-sisters.

At least she didn’t crack a joke when he tried to kiss her.

Don’t Send Me Another Memo

The page is back under my control… Am posting something that has been with me for a while. And forgive the spacing between some of the lines.. I am trying to figure it out :/

It has been a while. The kids have been shot and they have been buried. We have since moved on. Sydney, Paris and Pathankot, innumerable natural calamities have grabbed our headlines and eyeballs. But the causes and the results are the same. To twist Sartre’s words around a bit, ‘Everything is different yet nothing has changed.’

We still forget that religion is not a path that we walk on. It is not even our destination. It is the light that we carry in our hands to show us the way, as we walk the path to our destination.

How can anyone decide that the light they carry gives them the right to extinguish someone else’s life and light.

This poem was written in December 2014.

Don’t send me another memo…
another forward.
Every time a bomb blows up
Twitter explodes.
Every time kids are chewed up
by bullets
fired by terror mongers and psychos
Facebook posts come alive.
‘It could have been our kids!’
‘We are so lucky!’
‘This is so sad!’
‘I feel so bad!’
‘What can one do?’
‘The world has gone mad!’
Just please STOP!

Remember Beslan. Beslan!?
You say the word out loud…
The fingers of your mind
Stretch and reach…
Yeah… it sounds familiar!
Where is it?
That is what is going to happen
to Peshawar… To Utoya
You think you will not forget.
Or that school in the US…
Hook something
Oh I forgot the name!
But those poor babes!

You know what we can do
With all our collective feel bads?
Not for polite company
the answer to that.
We tweet, post and whatsapp
And…. we are done with it…
Our duty done.
Until the next tragedy hits.
And here we go again….
‘It could have been our kids!’
‘We are so lucky!’
‘This is so sad!’
‘I feel so bad!’
‘What can one do?’
‘The world has gone mad!’
STOP!For heaven’s sake!
What can we do?
You ask…
Here’s what…

Don’t bad mouth
your Muslim neighbour.
Don’t laugh at the rituals
of your Hindu neighbour.
Treat the Christian and the Jew as one.
Don’t just preach…
But practice.
Not just in front of your kids…
But everytime.

Make them see the turban,
the beard and the veil…
for what it is.
A representation of someone’s faith,
not a threat to your belief!!
Stop huddling together and
flinching away from strangers.
Open your eyes.
Open your mind.
Open your heart… please.

I refuse to mourn.
To shed another tear.
Because tears are so fickle…
shed and wiped.
And then the inevitable moving on.
I refuse to feel bad.
My feeling bad is not worth
even half a cent.
I refuse to join a candle lit vigil,
or mouth platitudes.

But what I will do
is to teach my child…
That be you a Hindu or Mussalman
Be you a Sikh or a Jain
A Christian, Buddhist or Jew…
Don’t think it doesn’t matter!
It matters!
The language is different
but the message from
this tower of Babel
is the same.

Keep your colour in mind….
White, black, brown, yellow…
It is what makes you unique
It is also what makes you different.
And different is not bad,
it is interesting.

Stop brushing our differences
under the rug.
Rather dust it and address it.
I will stop walking
on fucking egg shells
When discussing religion, God,
faith, love, homosexuality and gender.
I will teach my child that
true peace lies
hand in hand with honesty
and courage.
And sometimes the bravest thing
we will be called upon to do
in our entire life will be to
quietly say “I don’t agree”
or “it’s not right.”
when faced by peer might

And while I teach my child all this
I will pay attention
and try to imbibe.
Practice what I preach…
Be a part of the human tribe.
‘What can you do?’
you still ask me!!?

Another Poem

IMG_7221Wake up!


Do this

Do that

Comb your hair

Learn to tie your shoe laces

Do your homework

Chew with your mouth closed

Talk softly

Don’t scream


Run carefully

Don’t trip

Don’t lie

Study well

Write neatly

Tell them I am busy

Keep your room clean

Don’t overeat

Eat your veggies

Don’t eat your hair!

Be tough

Be kind

Read more

Go to bed.

But have I ever

Have I truly ever

Told you the stuff

The important stuff

The truly important ones…

Daydream a bit

Lie back and watch the clouds

Count the stars


The rain in the air…

The rich wetness of the earth…

Be proud of your body

Learn to listen to your body

Lick the ice cream bowl clean

With your fingers

And your tongue

Do something silly

Every once in a while

Run for joy

Don’t be afraid to love

With a pure vulnerable heart

It will hurt

But it will hurt more

If you don’t

Have loads of friends

Who you can laugh and

Have fun with

But have at least one

That you can cry

And be miserable with

Be brave

Be strong

Read more

And then some more

Write your thoughts down

Smile at the world

Trust your instincts

Daydream a bit more.



Never chase the clique

The elite… the ‘in’ group.

Stand by your truth and your soul

Even when your knees shake like jell-O.

Your heart may beat so hard with fear

That you may think

It will take wings and disappear.

The world may go for your throat

With sneers and ‘I told you so-s’.

But that is when you should dig your heels in

Walk your own path and chase your own dreams…

Refuse to be typecast

Take pride in being an outcast.

A Prayer For My Daughter

Another poem in the series that I wrote for my girl.Image


I wish for you freedom…

Freedom from worries about money

Freedom to do what you will

Freedom to be all that you can and want to be

Freedom to scream, howl and be nasty.


I wish for you independence

I wish for you choice.

I wish for you the truth

To not lie to yourself.

I wish for you courage

To say YES even when you feel timid

And sometimes, to say NO when need be.


I wish for you a great passionate love.

I wish for you laugh lines

That shows a well-lived life.

I wish for you a steady heart

But most of all,

I wish for you my love

A heart that sings.

Stay A While

Watching my girl jumping

In puddles pretending

She was a giant

On a sea crossing

I smile

Even as my

Heart weeps.

Why this rush

Why this dizzying

Hurtling through

Time and space

To grow up

And be like me.

Stay a while…

A little while longerImage

Child, and just be.

There is time enough

To grow and be

Tall and strong,

To be jaded and


For now just breathe

In the air…

Of never-ending hope,

Of cavern-like despair;

Breathe in the air

Of flighty joy

And heart-breaking pain;

Of best friends and

Class room bullies;

Of promises of forever

And starlight

Dancing in your hair.

There is time enough

To be like me

But for now

Be a child

Just a little while longer

And give company

To the child in me…