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!