I have always been locked up inside a cage.
The cage, I’ve always dreamt of breaking.
A minute breach of discipline was severely chastised.
They taught me to fit in, to fit into their conception of womanhood.
I silently questioned why to fit in, when I can step out?
I have frequently been silenced, with one baffling reason:
You are a girl and you must not cross the line of control.
They tied me with imaginary shackles,
Life has been very tough to tackle.
When I tried aiming at the sky
They chided me for their misogyny
I was never allowed to choose or decide
Declaring, ” She is a girl, she can’t decide.”
They reminded me time and again of my vulnerability;
And the need of a man for my security.
I must not stay outside after dusk,
Living the life of a girl is indeed a difficult task.
They consider me to be irrational, always driven by emotions,
Because I am a girl, incapable of providing suggestions.
They always notice my flaws and imperfections
I am repeatedly scolded and tormented to adjust.
When it’s about marriage, no one is concerned about my dignity;
Their so-called sophisticated look-out is on my virginity.
I am expected to abide by a long list of does and donts,
They are seldom bothered to ask me what I want.
The best advice they gave to me was pretending to be deaf and dumb;
To all the offences and violence around.
Being a girl is never a boon!
I realised being a bane to the womb.
The society assigns to me a bunch of roles
I continuously strive to adapt to those, ignoring my own goals.
It’s a crime been born a woman in a man’s world,
For which we are severely punished throughout.
Why is it always that I feel unwanted?
Why should my voice be silenced and feelings suppressed?
Why should I remain marginalized?
When I am worth being the mainstream!
I am a woman and I need to break the glass ceiling.
I can break free the shackles,
I too can fly and soar higher up in the sky.
I will challenge convention!
I want to live with my own terms and conditions.
~ Manisha Roy