Divya Walia

Dance of Life

By Dr. Divya Joshi


The collection of poems Dance of life by Dr. Divya Joshi documents the physical, emotional and psychological experiences of a woman in a patriarchal set-up where the existence of a female is not complementary to that of a male as falsely projected by the society. What is really impressive is the range that these verses cover in terms of biological episodes in a woman’s life, from conception to childbirth to her spiritual forms of energy. The poems definitely articulate feminism, specially ‘Inside-out’ and ‘Missing’ and do not shy away from scorning the misuse of physical power by men in dominating and crushing women’s bodily and emotional existence. However, at the same time, poems like ‘Mystery’ and ‘Dance of Life’ reiterate the concept of women of substance, magical, resilient and invincible that she is when she decides to be.

While in some of the poems, we find a woman struggling to move away from her claustrophobic relations, some offer a glimpse into her colourful and free heart, full of desires and dreams to fulfil;

Unique, singular and undiscoverable

Like a metaphor;

Capturing imaginations

Contriving ingenious ideas (Enigma, 30)

The poem ‘She…’ unabashedly summarizes the harrowing experience of a woman in this hostile world ‘because she is a woman’ and through that poem, it seems the poet has poured all the pain and anguish that a woman carries within, both physical and emotional ‘when relationships imprison her’

The insensitivity of the world highlighted through its complete indifference to her identity hits hard in the lines:

Beaten, tortured and humiliated

Not just her body, her soul too,

Whenever she would dare to flaunt


Her talent besides being a woman

Because she is a woman

We find the poet referring quite often to colours in several poems, for instance, we find use of pink in ‘Radhika’ to emphasise her soft femininity, a gamut of hues in her poems ‘The Little Painter’ and ‘Wear your colour’ to remind woman to follow her freedom to choose and to colour her life with the shades she prefers because she is capable of shaping and defining her own life. The expression is quite soothing yet emphatic, bringing the readers closer to the writer, who seems to be one of us in experience.

Among all the feminist poems that I have read so far, Divya Joshi’s poems truly impress with their freshness of choice of words with a beautiful mix of Hindi and English diction, the range of emotions and explored as well as unexplored shades of woman’s persona and bring it to the readers with an unmissable boldness.

Another striking quality of these verses is a perfect blend of subtlety of tone and candidness in diction, which is a testimony to the honesty in poet’s thought and expression and wins readers’ attention, unflinchingly, making them trust her words and intent.