quiet haiku

Not Quite Quiet

I shall
Be loud
Be heard

I shall
Laugh out loud
Roll on the floor
Jump in muddy puddles
Walk alone

I shall
Occupy space
Do a jig in a public place
Walk alone at night
No dupattas in sight

Saree Jeans Chudidhar Bikini
My clothes are not asking for it
No, I am not asking for it
I never ask for it

Be appalled if you have to
I will not be

©Namratha Varadharajan


Today, I have two poems.

The first one is a Haiku. A Haiku is a traditional Japanese poetry short-form which has gained great popularity with English poets. It is a 3-line poem with the syllable count 5-7-5. It usually has a nature theme.

The second one is a complimentary free verse to the Haiku.


Blank Noise is a collective art project that was founded to tackle street harassment or ‘eve-teasing’ of women.

The Haiku above is inspired by their Meet To Sleep initiative. How many women would be comfortable sleeping in a public place, for example a park? That is exactly what this called for. Women met up to take a nap amidst the lush greenery in Cubbon Park, Bangalore! I know I would be at the minimum uncomfortable and at the maximum nail-biting-ly scared to do so, especially if I was alone or with only women. Do we have the right to be defenceless?

As a step further, can women really talk very loud without attracting the wrong kind of attention? Can she even walk carefree on the streets? We don’t know which jerk is lurking in which corner and always be with our guard up. Blank Noise aims to address this systematic harrassment of women in public spaces through multiple innovative initiatives run and executed by their Action Heroes(who are basically volunteers). Also, this year they are championing the cause of “I Never Ask For It” by collecting all the different types of clothes women were harrassed it.

I find it to be a very innovative and important initiative. Read more about them in their website BLANK NOISE.

For each letter this April, I shall be presenting a poem inspired by ‘something’ that is making our world a little bit kinder, a little bit greener. The ‘something’ is a mix of people, movements, thoughts, or organizations who are having a positive influence on the world around us. Read all the other posts in ‘Poetry For A Cause’ series by linking the button below.


Quiet and Not Quite Quiet: Inspired by #BlankNoise #ActionHeroes #AtoZChallenge #BlogChatterA2Z #NaPoWriMo
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15 thoughts on “Quiet and Not Quite Quiet: Inspired by #BlankNoise #ActionHeroes #AtoZChallenge #BlogChatterA2Z #NaPoWriMo

  • April 21, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    Such a contrast between the two poems. The world is a much different place now than it was when I was young. The feeling of being safe as a girl or woman by herself – especially resting or sleeping in public – is, sadly, not possible. One leaves herself too vulnerable to those who don’t have her best interest at heart. Wish the world was safer and different for all people.

    • April 21, 2018 at 5:44 pm

      Yes Ann. I wish it was safe to atleast walk on the streets. There is no place to feel free for women and children anymore

  • April 21, 2018 at 12:13 am

    This is amazing. I choked at the end. There so much anger, anguish and disappointment that I could sense. This world must become a better place.

  • April 19, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    Beautiful contrast. When quiet is beautiful and when quiet is suffocation.

    • April 21, 2018 at 10:02 am

      Thank you. May I know your site?

  • April 19, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    I have no words for your creativity. I just sigh. I loved your poems… and as usual the cause is so worthy. I honestly wish that the world at large gets to read your poems.

    Zephyr is my new favourite word. 🙂 I loved the contrast of the two poems. Its like saying I can be quiet…but I wont. I will raise my voice when I have to.

    • April 19, 2018 at 5:35 pm

      Thank you Purba. Glad you liked it

    • April 19, 2018 at 1:06 pm

      Yes it is Neha. Thank you for the comment

  • April 19, 2018 at 6:49 am

    Those were beautiful poems Namratha. I especially loved the last stanza of Not Quite Quiet. No one should be quiet, they should speak up.


    Do drop by mine.


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