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“The reason I am today is because of the women who came before me - the rules they broke, the agency they seized, the secrets they kept. Through this piece, I want to give voice to the whispers that were carried down across generations by the women in my family.

I want to celebrate their bravery.”


This poem is a representation of life in an all-woman household, springing from the envisioning of a world free from the male gaze. Yet Maitreyee recognizes this as a utopian notion and attempts to express her negotiations with the patriarchal structures that our lives are inevitably intertwined with. The stories included in her poem are pieces of oral history, which she recognises as a pivotal theme in building histories of women’s private lives. Some of the supporting photographs were clicked of and by the women while in Covid-19 induced lockdown.

Maitreyee Mhatre24

Maitreyee Mhatre (she/her) is a literature student and poet in Mumbai. Words are the medium through which she experiences the world and she’s currently on a quest to explore it one book at a time. Feminism and the construction of alternate histories i.e her-stories, are major themes in her work. Maitreyee describes herself as someone who resists singularity, she believes she is both multiple and multifaceted - the evidence of which you can find in her contribution. 

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