Purple, Orange, Green,

Vermillion, Gold –

Are the myriad colours I’m made up of:

They stand for dignity, compassion,

Enthusiasm; and a determination

Which drives my passionate triumph!


Yet, ever since I was born –

I was solely reared

To be a perfect match

For someone to whom I’d be wed:

So I was dressed with the utmost care

To ensure I was special and rare.


Thus at boarding school I was trained

That I am always to behave –

Tender, obedient, obliging and humane:

That I must cross my legs when I sit,

Eat with my mouth shut,

As to burp was a cardinal sin;

I was to excuse myself if I cough or sneeze,

Not wear my skirt high above my knee.


Then in college, I was allowed to date –

So long as my chastity in line with my life, was intact:

While the man I was to marry one day

Could test his virility on all and sundry –

For then would he be, man enough to wed me!


At work I was amongst all those men

Who were always and compulsively more efficient:

For they supposedly had intellect and physical capacity –

Always superior and unequivocally above me!

So even if I was more persistent,

Worked harder to prove my worth over them:

Yet at the end of the month I would go back home

With my pay-packet lighter than those –

Who could share a drink

And a smoke

With another man after work –

In their mirth collectively decide my self-worth!


After I’d put in all my might, proven my worth alright –

I might just get a promotion like the men,

But then – also be termed loose and trite:

For I’d supposedly slept with

The guy – who’d been allotted to decide,

For wasn’t I pretty, with a body to incite?


Then I’d marry the man

Of my dreams

Thinking he had a mind of steel,

That he’d be honourable and proud of me:

But then, was it not always his

Pride for which I’d watch out?

For where was mine to be found –

It was lost in the shadow of his clout!

So then, I had to be gratified 

Like the moon always is –

To shine in reflected glory.


Till when children came along,

They’d expect it’s their life I live from then on:

For how can a mother think of anything else –

Isn’t she born only to give birth; above all cares 

to bring up children in the world!

But yes, she can only be proud if they are sons –

Even if they leave their parents and run,

When in old age they need them the most.


A woman am I…

So lifelong I must relegate, must I –

Into reflecting the colours of your choice:

Into the forms that you callously paint!


Would you not lend me some spotlight –

So I may shine in my own hues:

Thus show you my own true light!



2 thoughts on “A WOMAN AM I…

  1. Pingback: My Humiliation…Or Was It? | Shuvashree Chowdhury Ghosh

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