‘It’s a girl child’, the nurse announced just as the dawn was breaking
The joy and celebrations didn’t reach high proportions
But took the shape of questions and doubts -
Will she be able to take care of us in old age?
Will she be strong to protect us? Will she earn for us?
Can she buy a house or own a property? Will she be worth?
The unanimous cry was – What is she capable of? What?
I blinked my tiny eyes, trying to assure; my young heart determined to prove.
The teachers said, let her study home science,
After all she’s a girl and the maker of homes
But I chose maths and science and I topped.
But why choose engineering? Better do a B.Sc and B.Ed,
You can be a teacher like your aunts and grandmother
Hell no! I want to be a mechanical engineering, designing cars
And no one’s going to stop me.
Why send her so far for college? Why does she have to stay in hostel?
Let her stay at home, learn to cook and clean
She’ll go astray in a far off place.
I’m sorry Auntiji, I’ve got admission in a very good college
And I plan to attend its even if it’s half way across the globe.
What!? She wants to apply for a house loan to buy a flat?
She’ll have her husband’s house to call her home
Why buy a new one?
And no one marries a girl carrying a huge debt baggage?
But, sorry, my dreams are my own and I’m firm on them
Oh God! She’s gone on a solo travel trip?
Anything can happen to her
She’s a girl after all! , they cry
She looks so weak - anyone can knock her down.
But I like to travel alone, explore people and places
And explore and discover myself too.
I can just feel sorry for you that you didn’t get to enjoy yourself.
She doesn’t know how to drape a saree!
She’s always wearing shorts and tees
Shame on you, her parents!
But why? Isn’t my dressing my own style?
And don’t bother, I’m not going to change!
She’s 23 and still working? Why don’t you marry her off?
My cousin’s daughter was married and had 3 children by this age
She’s thin and dusky, who’ll marry her if she is over-age too?
Make it quick please!
But I’m waiting to find the right person,
I’m waiting to fall in love!
The aghast voices cry
Is she a girl! Is she a she!?
Yes, I’m a she but I have my dreams, my ambitions,
And yes, I have a life of my own and I don’t want it stereotyped
I don’t want your voices to decide all for me and order me about.
I’ll defy your statistics –
- 64% of women agree that the judgments passed on them have affected their ability to reach their true potential.
- 70%of women agree that majority of judgments on women are from family members or friends rather than strangers.
- 72% of women agree that working women face more judgments on their looks or their clothes than housewives.
- 69% of men agree that their judgement of women is based on their looks.
And I’ll prove to the world what #IAmCapable of,
That I can do better things, be happy and live life to the fullest!