By Harleen Kaur & Rasna Kaur

“Kachera” is the fifth set in an art series called “Kakaars.” “Kakaars,” a poetry and photo series uncovering the identity of the Sikh female. Through Harleen’s creative writing and Rasna’s visual storytelling, we hope to show another side of what the Kaur identity means to us. While our own experiences have undoubtedly impacted our understanding of the project, we hope that each and every Kaur can also bring her narrative to the series. Most importantly, this project is not only about our own experiences as Kaurs, but strives to empower all Sikh females to create an understanding for themselves.

Check out the other sets in “Kakkars”: “Kara,” “Kes,”  “Kanga,” and “Kirpan“!

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Kachera: Poise

(One leg in)

Balance
Breathe in, breathe out
The hairs stand up on my leg
Like little soldiers
Ready to protect me
Against my own war
Waged against self-esteem
The rustles of fabric like
Whispering sheets
Covering secrets of
Self-denial and regret
Wrinkles of past and present
History made and history begun
Lullabies of martyrdom
Ready to strike, at midnight
Defending our freedom

(Two legs in)

Focus
Determine the center
Of my being
Modesty of my existence,
Thighs like tree trunks,
Confidence
Waxing and waning
Like the groans of trees
Against the wind
Holding stronger to
Roots in the ground
Seeds planted by forgotten names and faces
Outer strength of women, of queens
Inner weakness of trampled souls
And muffled screams
For my own humanity

The fabric caresses my skin
Cool against its warmth
The heat of my veins
Flowing with the
Blood of my
Heart

Harleen
Rasna