Amidst the ongoing farmers’ protest, women have driven tractors in rallies, held charge of protest sites and staged marches in their villages, destroying any misguided notions about their role in agriculture or in defence of their agricultural rights. This week in Bol, we celebrate the resilience of those women at the borders of Delhi, and of those at homes and fields holding fort, with the poem Gulaab aur Kapaas [Roses and Cotton] by Ishrat Afreen.
Ishrat Afreen’s Gulaab aur Kapaas asserts the beauty of labour, in the tradition of progressive writers, and celebrates women’s labour in particular through traditional invocations of beauty. Afreen takes these metaphors much further and juxtaposes them powerfully against the beauty associated with and derived from privilege.
Afreen’s poem is read by Sabika Abbas, who writes and performs powerful feminist poetry brimming with rawness.