On being a woman

WomenWrote this as a part of the “Training of Trainers” workshop on Human Rights in Delhi, Feb 2013.


I am privileged if I am born alive,

Not because I was unhealthy, but because one day I might be,

a sister, a mother or a wife.

I count my blessings, if fed as I please

The delicacies are for my brother, who just knows how to tease

I feel I am on cloud nine, as I can express while I write

Many of my gender haven’t seen a blackboard or chalk white

I do the chores, while sports are for male cousins

For my entertainment, household work gets different versions

I can’t decide in which school, college, course can I enrol

The money isn’t enough, making decisions is not my call

Who, when and how I marry, is decided by the family

The decision is less on compatibility, more on account tally

Domestic violence, sexual violence, rape, unpaid domestic work are part of my life

I can’t talk about them for the fear of being labelled a feminist, I can’t discuss my strife

This has continued since long lost time

This will continue until I stand up and comment

Unless I ponder, I discuss, I decide

Unless I seriously take up the cause of women empowerment

As long as I bend to others’ wish

This subjugation will continue, it will remain

Till the time I stand up and fight

I would have to bear the pain

The freedom won’t come from someone outside

It will be me, who will have to decide

The cause, the idea, the action plan

And then only would I rightly say, I can!

It shouldn’t just be upto my female friends to help

My other gender friends should also respond to the yelp

Maybe that will lead the change

Maybe then I will smile

I will wait for your support

All this while!

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