I was raised to be selfless and loving
But my first learning wasn’t without an ‘I’ in the alphabet
I wonder how over the years,
The world changed so much,
That my first lessons have suddenly reversed.
Rani and Razia could have learnt to tolerate
Shakespeare was introduced to me before Sylvia & Austen
But dignity has two ‘I’s
For how long can it wait?
Gradually this realization came.
I knew biology had immense power
The fittest would survive and species would evolve
But it weighed down mathematics too.
Equality is equal such that-
Lesser my expression,
The more value I add to myself
And if fueled by acceptance,
The society would react with sympathy,
Call it bravery
But nobody told me this idea smelt of rotten eggs.
Then in the lab of reality
On the scales of gaze
They performed a dangerous experiment.
As they trimmed the length of my skirt,
Dragged the neckline lower
And shortened the sleeves,
The value of my chastity,
I was made to learn my rights very well.
Freedom to speak, equality…
But then came the Penal Code
With a Chapter on Offences against Women,
At once my rights felt disrobed
They couldn’t meet eyes with me in the reflection of vulnerability.
Extra curriculum had detailed sessions
On extensive debate and discussions.
I was told I aced Public Speaking
But silence became my language
“Shhhhhh.. You’re a woman”
At 18 when they heard an adult
With a loud voice of dissent
I was promoted to a revolutionary.
This murderer of beliefs and
Beholder of reason,
Was charged of gender- treason.
Stripped off my armor of strength
Broke my weapon- my pen
And pressed me into the pages
Of The Forbidden Book
For them I was the one who was doomed
But here I am
Signing off with an Italicized HENCE PROVED!
Read Geetanjali's writing on her blog here.