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#Poetry. "You can't do this, you are not allowed!" Every girl, every woman has heard this, probably multiple times in their lives. A very telling poem.
#Poetry. “You can’t do this, you are not allowed!” Every girl, every woman has heard this, probably multiple times in their lives. A very telling poem.
I met you for the first time in the veranda of my house,
When grandpa mentioned you to amma and her face withered like the rose in our garden.
I wondered who you were and what right did you have to make my amma feel that way.
We had an encounter again, when my uncle said it to his wife, like an ultimatum.
I wondered again who you were and why you had the power to make someone sad this way.
But I understood your true face only when I met you in person at the age of five.
I understood your obsession with girls and women. How you hovered only around them, picking on them every time.
“Helloo ‘Not Allowed’, am not pleased to meet you!
I am a princess with a unicorn,
Building home with my dolls and then I thought I ought to have a sword to protect my home.
You ruined it all ‘Not allowed’, by coming along. Hot tears ran down my cheek as I couldn’t understand why.
Why couldn’t I be the protector of my own home just because am I girl?
There was a party at a friend’s house.
I was excited and prepped for it all week. It was to be my first party as a teenager.
The day came and I put on a dress. ‘Stop!’ boomed a voice, ‘Where are you going dressed that way?’ inquired my uncle.
‘Not allowed’ peeked out from behind him with a devilish grin. A shadow that refused to leave me alone.
I cried myself to sleep, cursing for being a girl. ‘Oh how I wish I would be a boy, just like my brother who nobody questions.’
I grew up, started work but ‘Not allowed’ never seemed to go away.
Like a clingy ex-boyfriend who feels he owns you no matter you want to be owned or be with him.
I grew older and the elders promised it would go away once marriage came along.
So I frantically wanted ‘the one’ to come along as soon as possible, so I could be free finally!
But oh poor me, noone told marriage would bring along the twin of ‘Not allowed’ and now there would be two instead of one.
Chained and forced into things I never wanted to do. I cursed again for being a girl!
‘Why, why?’, I sobbed into my ‘only’ one’s shirt and saw in his eyes my pain mirrored.
‘They promised, it would go away’, I mumbled in my sleep.
As the days passed by, I noticed hoards of ‘Not Alloweds’ hovering over every woman in the household – my mother, aunt, mother in law, sister, friend and even that 2 year old girl child.
A chill ran down my spine, ‘Will it never go? Won’t I ever be free? Will none ever be free?’
‘No!’ rang a voice. Everyone seemed to shudder as they stared at me and I wondered why.
‘No’ said the voice again and it was mine. The ‘Not allowed’ seemed to squirm a little at the sound of it.
‘No!’, I said it again louder and the ‘Not Allowed’ started to fade away…
‘You will no more run my life, you will no more shut me up. No more will you stand in my way to do things I want too.’
‘You will no more rule me or anyone around me. You no more have the power over me. I am free. I am who I am and do what I wish too!’
‘Everyone is free and no gender rules will ever bind them because of you!’
‘You are not allowed!’ I let out a scream as the chains fell off my shoulder.
I AM FREE.
Published here earlier.
Image source: pixabay
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Feminist, Ecopreneur & a Zerowaste aspirant. Believes that my life purpose is to influence people to be ecofriendly and to help the girls/women of the future be more free - in who they are, what read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Gender stereotypes, though a by-product of the patriarchal society that we have always lived in, are now so intricately woven into our conditioning that despite our progressive thinking, we are unable to break free from them.
Repeatedly crossing, while on my morning walk ̶ a sticky, vine-coloured patch on the walkway, painted by jamuns that have fallen from the jamun tree, crushed by the impact of their fall, and perhaps, inadvertently trampled upon by walkers, awakens memories of the mulberry tree that stood in my parents’ house when I was growing up. Right at the entrance of the house, the tree caused a similar red and violet chaos on the floor, which greeted us each time we entered the gate.
Today, as I walked by this red-violet patch, I was reminded of an incident that my mother had narrated to me several times. It had taken place shortly after her marriage and her arrival in this house from her hometown.
Stop pretending that arranged marriage is one big fairy tale. That’s the Sooraj Barjatya school of thought that looks great on celluloid, but not so much in real life.
Dear Sima aunty,
Some shows are ‘so bad, they are so good’. The newest season of Indian Matchmaking falls in this category and is my latest cringe-binge. You must wonder why I feel that way.
Let me start with an example. Our families always encouraged us to score a hundred in academics. No one, not even our most chilled-out relatives, would tell us that scoring a sixty or a seventy was okay. We belong to that tribe of high-achieving women, who do nothing half-heartedly. Why do you go about advising, ‘Everything no one will get. Even sixty-seventy percent is good.’