Sex, love, and a woman in between / Arathi Devandran

I once knew of a girl who was so afraid of her sexual desires, that every time she ached for touch, she claimed she ached for love. She would express her longings and her fears to me, and then she would say, I am so sorry. I am so sorry.

I told her there was nothing to apologise for, and wondered when it became a crime for a woman to think that feeling something, or anything at all, was something she had to apologise for.

When did this world become one that started suppressing life in its most fundamental form?

(Because really, without this ability to feel, what are we, what are we, indeed?)


And so, she set about looking for love, while denying herself touch, in all the wrong places (though, as I am now convinced, are there are any right places in this world to go looking for something so much bigger than what we can ever comprehend?)

And each time she came back, again and again, she would say, I am so sorry. I am so sorry.

I don’t hear her voice when she tells me this – we communicate via text, but I can imagine her fingers slowing down as she types these four words, her breath hitching a little, some part of her still not quite sure what exactly it is that she is apologizing for.

I am so sorry, she writes. And I want to tell her, I am sorry that you are sorry. Instead, I mask my sadness with social niceties, and tell her that it is okay.

It is not okay. It is not okay.


Because to be a woman, is to be the universe, and the universe has no need to apologise.

Moon marked and touched by sun
  my magic is unwritten
  but when the sea turns back
  it will leave my shape behind.
  I seek no favor
 untouched by blood
unrelenting as the curse of love
permanent as my errors
or my pride
I do not mix
love with pity
nor hate with scorn
and if you would know me
look into the entrails of Uranus
where the restless oceans pound.”

Arathi Devandran curates personal experiences, snapshots of the world and the stories people are willing to share with her through prose and poetry

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