Children of Srinagar, Kashmir
Children of Srinagar, Kashmir
Current issue
About TLM Contact Reprint Open space Advertise Back issues Bookshop
Subscribe Gift Feedback Submissions Site search Gallery Awards
  Body language

  Venus Envy
  Vol V : issue 1

  Cover page
  Kaushik Basu
  Radhika Coomaraswamy
  Taslima Nasreen
  N. S. Madhavan
  Zehra Nigah
  Only in Print

Subscribe to The Little Magazine
Order the print edition of this issue
Browse our bookstore
Browse back issues

   Mail this page link
   Enter recipient's e-mail:


Taslima Nasreen

Oil on canvas by SUNIL DAS

I have known this body of mine for long
but sometimes I don't seem to know it.
When a rough hand
touches my sandal-painted one,
through manifold trickery
my nerves start ringing bells, they ring

This, my own body
whose language it cannot read
it speaks for itself, in its own language.
At that moment,
my fingers, eyes, these lips and smooth legs
not mine, then.
this, my hand
but I do not know this hand that well
these lips, mine, these my shanks, thighs,
none of its muscles and pores
are owned by me, or in control

My nerves rang bells, on the second tier
in this world, whose puppet was I then,
men or Nature?

It isn't men, really
Nature plays on me
I'm her favourite sitar

Male touch rouses me,
from infant sleep
suddenly there is high tide in my sea.
sensing the fragrance of love
in my flesh and blood
Nature plays on me
I'm her favourite sitar

Translated from the Bengali ‘Dehatattva’ by Chitralekha Basu and TLM

p. 1p. 2

Taslima Nasreen, feminist writer and poet, is among the best-known and most controversial of literary figures of contemporary Bangladesh. She lives in exile in Europe and the USA