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#Poetry. New age parents claim there is no difference between daughters and sons. Really? Even today, doesn’t the trajectory of a girl’s life follow tradition?
I heard them the first time they said there was no difference
It made sense to my six year old mind
Why should there be any difference between me and my three-year old brother
Our parents looked at us with the same sparkle in their eyes
Wove us the same dreams
Held us with the same fear and protectiveness
I also heard them when they said we were privileged
This gap wasn’t so narrow for the rest of them
Little girls getting married before they bled
Holding pots and pans before pens and paper
Crushed in their mother’s bellies
Humiliated on the streets we cross on our way to school
This was for them
It wasn’t a thing in the conditioned air of our tall houses
Behind the windows of our shiny black cars
So we never roll them down
To look out and breathe that air in
We live behind those barriers of metal and ‘justice’
So I’m still with confusion
when her name is number fifteen
On the list of girls his hands have touched
But she’s the whore with no self-respect
when he tells his friends about his fantasies
And they laugh and share their own
But she is scared of telling her best friend about the movie she watched last night
When his list is evidence of his desirability
And hers makes her unsuitable for the ‘nice’ guys
Less marriage material
When he has to buy her flowers and pretty things
But if she does it it’s desperation
A simple text is the most unconventional she can be and still remain cute
When she can be as tall or short as she wants
As long as she has that hourglass thing going for her
But he struggles to hit that 5-10
When she is forced to think about balancing family and work
Before she can even think of living her dreams
But he’s ‘gay’ for caring
When they tell her for the millionth time that she and her brother are the same
And in the same sentence talk about her moving away and starting her own family
But her brother being left behind to take care of her current temporary home
She’s just as confused as I am
Maneuvering through these little grey lies
They spit out everyday
Maybe we’re getting it wrong
And their lives are filled with the same lies they’re throwing at us
Or even if they aren’t
Even if they can see their own hypocrisy
Maybe the point isn’t to keep us blinded
Maybe we’re just more capable than they are
And that is why we’re being burdened by this reality laced with lies
Because unlike them we have the strength and the power to lift the burden
Push the boundaries
Build bridges out of the pain and injustice
Step into that darkness with the flames of our empowered souls
And turn those grey lies
Into a colourful truth
And not let the sky from clearing
Because of our fear of the storm
Image source: Flickr, for representational purposes only.
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I'm 16 years old and a student at The British School, New Delhi. When
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