poem inspired by moni begum

Just a child

As rust sun spreads its tentacles lazily over the valley
a quivering haldi-ed hand caresses the deep red silk
(interspersed with filaments of gold and silver).

stone-ish hands squeeze my pinky fingers
as we draw seven circles around howling flames.
(do they know a secret I don’t?)

A vermillion oval tattoo stamped on my forehead:
My gift from the heavens?
(After all, it is my tenth birthday)

(shhhhh)
more surprises lurk in the shadows of starless sky
a crimson ridge for my cheek and an eye coloured black.

©Namratha Varadharajan

Poetic Form:

FREE VERSE

Today, I snuck in more visuals into my poetry and would really love to hear some feedback. Did it work for you or not?  Poetry is blamed for being too abstract and not easily comprehensible. Did this piece create images for you? or did it hinder you from understanding what it is about? I would love to know your opinion whatever it is.

INSPIRATION/CAUSE FOR THE DAY: MONI BEGUM WHO HAS SUCCESSFULLY ELIMINATED CHILD MARRIAGES IN HER VILLAGE

poem inspired by moni begum
source: https://www.facebook.com/monibegumkulaura/

Moni Begum, a 17-year-old girl from Mulaira village of Moulvibazar District, Bangladesh, saw her sister as well as her best friend undergo child marriages to older men. In both cases, the children underwent physical abuse and became unrecognizable versions of their previous selves. These incidents ignited the crusade by Moni Begum against child marriages in her village. If she heard of a marriage of a minor being fixed, she promptly landed up at their home to stop it! She used a mixture of techniques including providing required perspective: highlighting how this was detrimental to their girl, as well as how their child could flourish if money spent on her wedding was utilized for her education instead. In some cases, she also used the help of the law. With this consistent approach coupled with teaching the girls to say ‘NO’ when marriage is forced upon them, she has managed to stop child marriages completely in her village! Proactive, fearless, innovative girls like Moni Begum are the need of the hour in every corner of this world.

Read more about her campaigns and upcoming plans here.


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 posts in ‘Poetry For A Cause’ series by linking the button below.

“CHANGE BEGINS WITH AWARENESS” 

Just a child: Inspired by Moni Begum #EndChildMarriage #AtoZChallenge #BlogChatterA2Z #NaPoWriMo
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21 thoughts on “Just a child: Inspired by Moni Begum #EndChildMarriage #AtoZChallenge #BlogChatterA2Z #NaPoWriMo

  • July 14, 2018 at 6:22 am
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    I’m visiting on the A to Z Road trip. I’m so thankful for people like Moni for their efforts to end the atrocity of child marriage. And thank you for sharing her story and her mission in such poetic form.
    Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker

    Reply
  • June 26, 2018 at 12:16 am
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    Stopping by on the #AtoZChallenge Road Trip. The visuals in your poem are very evocative, and the overall effect is indeed heart-breaking. What a perfect highlight for this important issue, and the work of Moni Begum. May there soon be a time when all child marriages are banished across the world.

    Reply
  • May 27, 2018 at 3:52 am
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    I loved the images, but funny enough I didn’t get the message from the poem alone. I wonder if it stems from my rosy background.

    Child marriage is tragic when it’s force upon a girl, and even more tragic when a minor gets herself pregnant on purpose. I wrote a poem about the latter when I was in high school, not knowing about the former at that time. My high-school aged poem didn’t have the imagery of this one, but I remember one: Babies rocking cradles…both cradles rocking empty.

    Stopping by from the #AtoZChallenge Road Trip!

    Reply
  • May 26, 2018 at 6:42 am
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    I agree that the visuals in this poetry are a wonderful addition. Your message comes out loud and clear. Brilliant!
    I found this blog via #AtoZChallenge Road Trip.

    Reply
  • April 12, 2018 at 9:27 pm
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    Me too. Until recently I exclusively wrote in free verse. Though forms are fun sometimes free verse gives you the freedom to express yourself however you want

    Reply
  • April 12, 2018 at 9:26 pm
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    Thank you Meena. She is indeed doing important work

    Reply
  • April 12, 2018 at 9:26 pm
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    It is heartbreaking and the story of many!

    Reply
  • April 12, 2018 at 9:23 pm
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    Thank you Romila for your comment. Her efforts are indeed commendable. Thank you for sharing the stats with us

    Reply
  • April 11, 2018 at 11:17 pm
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    Shakes you completely, when you read about such things happening in 21st century. And what a heart wrenching poem you have written, its Perfect!

    Reply
    • April 12, 2018 at 9:22 pm
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      Thank you. Glad you are enjoying it. I will be contacting you once I catch up with my atoz posts regarding writing that poem about body shaming and self love from a child’s perspective. It is an important subject to be explored. I have some ideas about it but it has been difficult to give it time and energy with atoz and other things going on currently.

      Reply
  • April 11, 2018 at 7:34 pm
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    Over 66 per cent of girls in Bangladesh are married before the age of 18. Over one third of girls are married before the age of 15. A 17-year-old girl is addressing this issue and has successfully managed to eliminate child marriage from her community. Kudos to Moni Begum.

    Reply
  • April 11, 2018 at 7:08 pm
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    Heart rending poem. This is the first i am reading the word ‘haldi-ed’. The flow of words were so elegant and the story behind it What great inspiration. I do admire people who have the guts to go all the way and find a solution to societal issues.

    Reply
    • April 12, 2018 at 9:24 pm
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      And she hasnt stopped at that. She is taking the cause forward by talking at the UN and championing other ideas like reducing unwanted c sections that she believes in. A hands on and admirable girl indeed

      Reply
    • April 11, 2018 at 1:24 pm
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      Thank you Purba. Will be along later tonight

      Reply
  • April 11, 2018 at 10:49 am
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    The last line of your poem made me shiver. My salute to Moni Begum. And thanks to you for highlighting the issue.

    Reply
    • April 12, 2018 at 9:25 pm
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      Thank you Balaka. The poem was intended to be impactful

      Reply
  • April 11, 2018 at 6:33 am
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    What an inspiration Moni Begum is! Kudos to her. Great imagery in your poem Namratha

    Reply
  • April 11, 2018 at 12:52 am
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    Free verse is my favorite form. It gives the poet freedom to just let the words flow, without worrying abt the rhymes and structure.

    Reply

I would love to know your thoughts! Speak to me

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