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Adorable Women and Water

Towards the end of my term II in first year of university, I wrote this piece of humanities essay describing how women’s attributes are similar to those attributes of Water bodies. It is something that is imaginary as well as true in some cases.

“Earth, Sky, Air, Fire and Water” – Among these five basic environmental forces, Water, a form of liquid is very important for land and lives of living organisms in the world. The World without water and a Woman without a family would not be sustainable. In many possible ways, water in the form of rivers, sea, water falls, and ocean are compared to women with the characteristics that they both possess.

Physically, women possess curvaceous body structure. Often, poets whoever wishes to praise the heavenly water bodies uses women’s beauty and values as a smile or metaphor and vice versa. Similarly, Vairamuthu, a Tamil poet cum writer, says “When Women walk, arise and stand they are like rivers, waterfalls, and sea respectively” (My translation). The reason why the poet compared woman’s walking with the flowing river is that the Tamil girls wear anklet which makes pleasant sounds from the dangling of many little bells while walking. Likewise, when water flows with speed it makes sounds that are similar to those anklet bells. In addition, when a Tamil women stands, the black, lustrous long hair that falls like cascade from their head to waist area. Thus, thereby associating women’s physical beauty with characteristics of water bodies, the poet praises both of their valuable beauty.

Both the behaviour of women and water are also similar in some ways. One of the main reason is that the Tamil woman typically serve the family and make sure all the members are having good health with good food and water. Like wise, Kaveri River, which supplies water sources for food, wild animals as well as human’s life, was considered as the “Mother of Mankind”. Even the expressions of women are also related to river. Rivers, which constantly flows from mountains to the land crossing many barriers patiently on one hand, can also be vigorous and violent when they are seen in the form of flood. Similarly, Indian household women, who bear all the suffering in the family by looking after her husband, taking care of their children and other household works, will also get angry which could not be bore by others. And, this is what poet Vairamuthu says that rivers and women are both equally capable for bringing destruction to land and life. Moreover, water is respected as Goddess or in the form of women for making the life in the Earth sustainable. Mainly from the hindu legends, rivers that serve the mankind are treated as equally as women and prayed as Goddesses.

In conclusion, thus the characteristics of water bodies especially rivers are compared to the characteristics of women. The physical body, emotions and behaviour of women are identical and symbolic to the mannerism of Water bodies. These assumptions and interpretations makes Women more physically and characteristically attractive but the society would still treat them like dolls.

Few references that I made for this writing:



Dando's picture


This is so beautiful. I love your interpretation of water. This is the first time am reading about such theory and I am so conceived. Water is everything, it is life and so is a woman.

good work.

with LOve

Shivalaxmi's picture

Thank you Ms. Dando

Of course, Women are very important as how we need water to survive. I am really glad that you like my interpretations. Thank you very much Ms.Dando.

Shivalaxmi Arumugham
Asian University for Women

jadefrank's picture

Women as water

Dear Shivalaxmi,

What a beautiful essay and a moving metaphor - women as water. I have never thought of this relationship before as you have described it, and I loved reading the parallels you draw with a cultural backing - as I also learned something about you and the culture of Tamil women. I look forward to reading more from you, as I find you to be a captivating and talented writer, and I hope to learn more about Tamil culture.

In friendship,

Shivalaxmi's picture

Thank you very much Jade Frank

Dear Jade Frank,
Thank you very much for spending your time to read my interpretations. These are few things I have learned in my first year class. While writing these, I kinda felt that women are shown and treated as show case dolls for their beauty. But, we as women should not be taking those as negatives and we should be proud to have those similar attributes with the nature. Definitely Jade! you will know more about Tamil Culture in my future writing. I have also planned to bring out the tradition of different ethnic groups inside Tamil Nadu as far as I know by living there. So, initially, my experiences of what I have seen and heard will come under that writing. Thank you once again for your interest.

Shivalaxmi Arumugham
Asian University for Women

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