Begum Samru (Poem)

I might be 4 and a half feet tall

Started as a dancing girl

Others looked down on me

But I made them dance to my tune.

At fourteen, I lived with Walter

He was thrice my age

Knew the language of guns

Not the wiles of words

To seduce at court.

That was my forte

We got land as a result.

Vassoult and George courted me at forty

I preferred Vassoult

The French know this game best

We tried to steal away

I heard Vassoult was shot

So I stabbed myself

We don’t die easy.

Dear ol faithful George

Got me back to power


My turban gave me height

As I led my troops in battle

My enemies called me a witch

Unable to digest my success as a soldier.

I fired on Najaf Quli Khan and his men

Emperor Shah Alam breathed easy

I lived till ninety

Hookahing away.

More on Begum Samru here.

Here’s the first in my series on famous women.

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