Saturday, March 8, 2008

To the girl-child.


A handsome prince leans forward in this moment of bliss
My thundering heart gives the beat a miss
As my eyes open to dark reality
And the dream crumbles in all its fragility
Feeling the beginnings of a shiver
Fairness cream in hand ,I stand by the mirror .
I say, letting out a long deep sigh
”There’s more to me than meets the eye”

Twisting , trudging and losing some weight
I do it all to regain my figure of eight .
Everyone says I am in the grip of a vice
As enjoying meals is not very nice.
With sagging spirits and ache in every bone
As I try to become another Barbie clone
My heart cries out at this insensitive sham
“A woman of substance is what I am”

Dressed appropriately and sporting a dot
I serve chappatis fluffed piping hot
While sometimes I do enjoy this chore
I wistfully wonder what might be in store
If this traditional garb I do shed
And help to bring home more bread ?
I dream what turns Life might take
If the choice was only mine to make.

Boundless is the parents’ joy
If they are told their newborn’s a boy.
An unfeeling stoical look is worn
As from my mother’s womb I am torn.
Despite my mother’s bleeding heart
My little life was doomed from the start.
Give me a chance to take this birth
To bring you smiles, laughter and mirth.

With neatly plaited braids and a toothy grin
I think of the school to which I ‘ve been.
It is now but a thing of the past
It’s been months since I went there last.
I made way for my younger brother
Now he goes to school , while I help Mother.
Fascinating Geography and Math he does learn
With wishful thinking my heart does burn.

Even in this age , it’s the same old story.
My poor parents are bent double with worry.
I have come of age , is what I am told
And soon to the lowest bidder will be sold
Like a priceless head of cattle
Already defeated in this new battle.
Stop laying me on the pyre sticks
And let me rise anew like a Phoenix.

I too am a part of Eternity
So all of you , please hear me.
Worshipped in every culture
I still need for you, me to nurture.
Don’t doom me to an unmarked grave
Or shackle me to Life like a slave.
But like a bird , do set me free
To scale new heights of Infinity.

10 comments:

Ashvina said...

Red letter days on the calendar will make no difference to harsh reality...would that everyone had the sensitivity of a poet!

niranjan said...

very very interesting poem.....truely touching.

Ravin said...

You have touched a topic close to my heart. Why do we not want girls as daughters? I have two daughters and no son. I am educated, my friends too are educated... however they always question me... why no son? Is it our inborn fear that our daughters will never carry our "family name"? Or is it that they will after all have to get married and go away one day when we need them most?

These and many other questions... why can't society accept the girl child as any other child?

Lovely writing Shubha!

Dr Ravin N Das (MS Ophthalmology)
Jabalpur, MP, India
A proud father of 2 daughters, no sons!

Mister KB said...

A sensitive topic- daughters are precious... in the long run, the disparity will vanish-

Jigyasa said...

Sensitive and thought provocating. Loved reading it.

Shankar said...

Very well written. It's a long haul but I am sure the tide will turn in favour of the girl.

Punam said...

Very touching, Shubd, Girls are seen like that, a cumbersome burden in some families. But today, the fact of the matter is, that its the sons who leave the parents, while daughters tend to them forever, even ater marriage.

Your poem also reflects a girl's eternal struggle towards outward beauty, inspite of being beautiful inside. Also, the struggle to come to terms with a bound domestic life as against a fulfilling career.

Your thoughts are deeply felt, and well expressed.

flyingstars said...

lovely poignant thoughtful words...you have crafted it beautifully...we can really feel every word & the depth of the words...you have captured the essence of a girl-child wonderfully...touching lines!

Ritu said...

My heart bleeds ..... Yes the attitude is there - even amongst the educated, a small sense of disparity remains. Wonder when it will change

Neeraj said...

Lovely poem Shubha;

very touching yet so very true.
If only we could learn
to give the girl child her due, our part of world will be
illuminated in a new hue,
we worship her im many forms
yet when it comes to act
we act as the shrew
It is time I think
that we learnt and grew