On the International Day Of The Girl Child, this beautiful poem charts a girl's journey from being born to becoming an adult!
On the International Day Of The Girl Child, this beautiful poem charts a girl’s journey from being born to becoming an adult!
The hard-hitting poem called ‘A Woman’s Monologue’ has emotional lines such as- ‘I grew up to be my father’s daughter/Very casually, I was given his surname/Why was my father given entitlement for my mother’s labour?’
‘And after so called ‘kanyadaan’/I was going to be my husband’s wife/I would be the one changing names/I would be the one swapping homes.’ Read the full poem below…
It started the day I came
Everyone was happy
But there wasn’t a celebration like the one when my brother was born
I grew up to be my father’s daughter
Very casually, I was given his surname
Now, when I am 18, I wonder
I wonder the reason behind it
Why was my father given entitlement for my mother’s labour?
Why is father’s name on every document mandatory
Then, I had a sudden epiphany
My basic identity was dependent on the males in my life
I was my father’s daughter
And after so called ‘kanyadaan’
I was going to be my husband’s wife
I would be the one changing names
I would be the one swapping homes
And if I dare wish to live separately with my husband
I would be a home-breaker
I am given equal right in property
But I am expected to relinquish it
I am free to work after marriage
Provided the in-laws approve of it
As a woman, it is natural that I be the one to sacrifice
When husband wants sex, it is expected that I oblige
Is marriage a license to rape?
Perhaps that’s why marital rape isn’t criminalised
I am so used to getting less,
That occasional equality makes me cry
I am the one raped, yet I am the one restricted
I am abused, my privacy violated
‘Not all men’, they answer in collective
Its high time you change your perspective
I know it feels uncomfortable
To have less, when all this time you had more
But it’s not just about me,
You know, equality is mutual!
Image source: Still from Nil Battey Sannata
A Law student, content writer, sometimes poet, and an all time reader trying to find solace in literature. read more...
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When Dylan came home, I was happy I had a little brother. But soon, strange incidents began happening. No one could explain the hideous things he did or why he did them!
“Nobody loves me!” he cried, as he was forced to sit in the car. Dylan was red with rage and tears covered his face.
“That is not true. We love you a lot. You will be away just for a short while and then we’ll get you back home”. Mother didn’t believe her own words. For the first time she wasn’t sad that he was leaving.
“Bahu, you are this family’s Mahalakshmi. If you wake up late, how will it bode auspicious for this house and hearth? Go, take a bath first, and help me in the kitchen."
“Bahu, you are this family’s Mahalakshmi. If you wake up late, how will it bode auspicious for this house and hearth? Go, take a bath first, and help me in the kitchen.”
“Ma, I’m visiting my in-laws for the first time after marriage. I’m looking forward to this!” Aditi exclaimed.
And then, ma's words rang in my ears, “Do not ever wait for your destiny to shape itself, my child. Do not tarry, do not wait, do not seek.”
And then, ma’s words rang in my ears, “Do not ever wait for your destiny to shape itself, my child. Do not tarry, do not wait, do not seek.”
“You’re to be married to Arindam next week,” Baba pronounces my fate with a smug smile. “Your astrological charts have matched beautifully, you know?”
Does the change of surname after marriage play into the acceptance of women as now belonging to a new family, with no responsibilities to her natal family?
Does the change of surname post marriage play into the acceptance of women as now belonging to a new family, with no responsibilities to her natal family?
Last November, when I was travelling to Delhi from Nagpur, on my way I met a beautiful family of four in the train. It was a couple who had married early, along with their four year old son and the two year old daughter ‘Gudiya’. The family was going to their hometown in Rajasthan from Chennai, the place where the father used to work as a labourer in a marble factory.