in this world.
confined limited, theories.
and fix the harmony’.
without anyone or anything;
alone, on her own; bare.
with her flesh and shadow
Written at late-night, during the first week of November, Gaffe is the first poem under the series of love and lust, published on @ritikapeace.
The poem was first typed down as a quick reaction to some personal feelings. Later it was edited to be published on the website as the part of Love and Lust Poetry Series.
Sparked by the Indian anthology movie on Netflix, Lust Stories, Gaffe (the poem) deals with the secreted sexuality of women, often ignored or hidden inside the bars of patriarchy and rules structured by society.
The intriguing part though is that one can read the poem from multiple lenses. Following is my perspective (or my explanation/view, from which I have written this poem)-
Germaine Greer’s quote is worth mentioning here before continuing, that is, “The essence of pleasure is spontaneity.”.
*Note- Gaffe means "an unintentional act or remark causing embarrassment to its originator; a blunder" (Google)
The poem was written from the perspective of a female committed to her partner/lover (my imagination here was of a straight heterosexual bond, but one can also read from other preferences, orientations, or sexes).
She begins by saying that she loves in a way that can make society uncomfortable.
“in the defined minutest second in this world”. (Para 1)
Here, I would like to point out the idea of time that symbolizes the constructed world around us.
Time is an extensively discussed concept in the worlds of both past and present. From the principle of unities (unity of time, place, and action) by Aristotle in drama/theatre to the postmodern novels like Sexing the Cherry by Jeanette Winterson and from epics like Mahabharata to various poems of Keats like Autumn; time has remained an important topic of discussion both in the analysis of words by these greats and also in the tracing about the life and ideas of these writers.
Today, I think we all can agree that time is a mere tool to measure a being’s mornings, nights, seasons, days, and ages on planet Earth. In the present world, one cannot imagine a world without 24-hours and 12 months, amongst many other things, rules, and concepts. The same is expressed in the sentence quoted above.
Moving further, it is often said that love has the power to build or destroy anything and everything. A similar kind of thing is expressed in paragraph two.
Coming to the next paragraph, there’s the mention of the third law of motion by Newton. This law is sketched out in relation to its philosophical context of cause and effect, often used by Buddhist philosophers and other significant scholars and gurus to express the eternal law of the universe, that is, every action is caused created by a human, which will eventually result in some kind of reaction sooner or later. There’s an old saying about the same, what you sow, so you reap.
of cause and effect working“
These words are written to collapse the taboo around women as incapable of science, politics, logic or any other area for that matter. The following is a very clear and quite a famous example of how the women still are treated by the society which tries to thrive on patriarchy in the modern world of social media-
In the fourth paragraph, it is said that such a girl cannot be overwhelmed to a lover who cannot love her back as much as she does as it can fill her with “self-guilt” and “disgust”. She further defines what she is giving, that is, both the “mental and physical” aspect of a couple-relationship; she expects the same in return.
The last paragraphs highlight that such women and in fact any female-be it after or before finding a suitor, or marriage- has to deal with multiple comments, glances, and problems from the time even before they start to shape inside her mother’s womb (men and trans face their kind of issues too; it’s just that, here I was writing from a perspective of a female). Moreover, in the community like, of India, she has to deal with all of it alone, as at times her own family is not in support of her.
This kind of a girl, nonetheless, (as she knows how to fight back) accepts herself as she is, that is, with all her desires and sexual fantasies. Here is where the subversion of the stereotype around female sexuality takes place, as she, in a way, clearly declares that she is capable enough to deal with everything alone, without a male around to pleasure, protect, or please her.
Here it is where the strong parallels can be drawn with Rekha’s bold character and dialogue, i.e., men are selfish and so women have to fulfill her desires by herself. Rekha in the Karan Johar’s Lust Story around the protagonist Megha (Kiara Advani) was played by Neha Dhupia. Indeed, one can read the last two paragraphs with this scene at the back of their minds.
It is in the last three lines, where the poem literally broadens up the whole feminist viewpoint that was being talked around till now.
“on this commonplace for every human;
on this planet called Earth.
she of her own body and world.”
These lines can have various interpretations, depending upon one’s own beliefs, mental-state, outlook, etc. The last line can also point towards sexual satisfaction straight homosexual women can feel without men.
Precisely, the poem points towards the fact that a woman can have sexual desires as well. The broader and undertoned perspective is towards the necessity of abolition of all sexes.