The Journey [#Poetry]

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“The defiance is actually the last push to a glass ceiling… Her mother and mother’s mother have been pushing too long.”

Here is the third winner of our January 2017 Muse of the Month contest, Pooja Sharma Rao.

The cue for this month was from the movie Queen, in which Kangana’s reel granny tells her that instead staying back in the hotel and watching TV and feeling bad for herself, she should go out and meet people, go sight-seeing…who knows she might find someone interesting too!

The Journey

The baggage is heavier
than any airline carries free of extra cost
from the curious handmade potli
to the now trendy strollers
all carry centuries of
Patriarchal mind-sets
stashed away in side pockets
hidden like lingerie and sanitary supplies

Pushed so deep inside
that they are only taken out
in the secrecy of bedrooms and bathrooms
Alone, to be cried over
like dreams of first love
and stashed back with guilt
of being the bad woman
who desires

The instructions, too many
Do’s and don’ts
so that the status quo
Passes on unhurt
from generation to generation
Heavy like that elusive ‘honour’
that she carries in a hidden piece of flesh
and like a permanent scar on her being

The journey begins with birth
but her routes and maps
pre-decided like a pre-paid loyalty
to ideal Indian womanhood
good girls have no souls and
own no compasses
their maps are set
only to matrimony, motherhood

Good Indian girls
do not utter prohibited words
Fantasy, ecstasy is overwritten
by celibacy and virginity
The line that was drawn
to keep Sita safe
is still strong in its invisibility

“Would he accompany me?
If I was the one exiled? ”
Questioning is also a luxury
denied to her by destiny

and then with a single step
the threshold is smashed
the extra-baggage thrown out
their maps and their compasses
As she decides to follow
The call of her wanderer soul
and breathe without the manual
for the good Indian woman

The defiance is actually
the last push
to a glass ceiling
Her mother and mother’s mother
have been pushing too long.

Pooja Sharma Rao wins a Rs 250 Amazon voucher, as well as a chance to be picked one among the top winners at the end of 2017. Congratulations! 

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Image source: shutterstock

Pooja Sharma Rao

Pooja Sharma Rao

I believe I am poet's soul who is an online content consultant/writer/editor/translator by profession and a blogger by coincidence. All my formal education has been in the English language and I have an M.phil in English literature,but my soul babbles in Hindi as much as it does in English. Issues of gender,race,identity have always intrigued me.I read Chinua Achebe, Emily Dickinson,Eve Ensler, Salman Rushdie and Khaled Hosseini in the same breath as I do Premchand,Harivansh Rai Bachchan,Gulzar, Paash and Sadat Hasan Manto. When not working or reading I write for my blog and learn life lessons with my daughter.My poetry is about my conversations with life and the pauses in between. My works have been published in several reputed online journals and print anthologies in India,UK and Canada like the Rupkatha Journal of Interdiscplinary studies and a few poems can even be read with a hot cup of coffee on the walls of The Human Bean Cafe,Toronto. A voracious reader, I am a tea connoisseur, love to travel and am deeply influenced by Sufi and Zen philosophy. Both my blogs have been awarded at the #OrangeFlowerAwards 2016 in Poetry (English) and Hindi blogging categories respectively.

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