I can tell you what I have learnt till now,
that womanhood comes with a list,
a list that people made for you when
you were secure and warm in your mother’s womb,
and from then..
as long as you live, you burn that unending list
in every forest fire that tries to crack open
a crimson gash in your world.
** ** ** ** **
Don’t play in the sun for long, good girls stay home
and play with dolls, keep them neat and well dressed.
Don’t make your hair short. No boy wants to have a
crush on a girl with short hair. Grow them long so that
when they admire you, you remind them of Rapunzel,
safe and caring and comforting, like a fairy tale.
Don’t read too many books. What will you do with
your knowledge? You cannot argue with your man,
because man is always right, and if he’s not
then there is something wrong that nobody can fix.
As you grow, you will know that world
doesn’t love a girl who knows too much.
Because truth hurts, and it restores strength
every time you feel broken and hollow.
World loves a fragile girl, just look for clues.
Stop playing with the camera. Do some real stuff.
Tell me how much sugar will you add in a cup of
morning coffee? Do you know I fed you some sugar
the moment you were born? Look how sweet you
still look when you smile with your innocent eyes.
Low cut tops make you look like you don’t
belong here. No. You don’t have a right to choose
your outfits. It’s the society that decides that.
Do you know how many rapes happen because of
those low cut tops and shorter hemlines? No.
Don’t argue on that. No boy will be blamed,
shamed, and pregnant for wearing low cut tops.
They say it’s an equal society, but you don’t
have to be educated to understand prejudices.
Don’t travel the world. Don’t look at the stars
and start counting the moment they appear
on the gray sky. Stay alert. Who asked you
to travel alone in night? You’re a girl.
Eat less, and make time for exercise. No,
you cannot be overweight. You’re still single.
No, don’t wait till thirty to decide about life.
Remember, your days are limited. It doesn’t
matter if you write a hundred books or
display a million award winning photographs,
you’re not a woman if you don’t create another life.
Now don’t get hurt. Even if you are, just
smile, smile more and go with the flow. We all did.
The generations followed rules and they did well,
and that’s why we are here, enjoying this earth.
Don’t put too much make up, it makes you old.
Don’t wear shorts, you’re not fifteen anymore.
But I couldn’t wear shorts when I was fifteen.
So you held that grudge against us all this while?