With October 11 being observed as the International day of the girl child, the world is still grim with sexual violence, ill treatment and exploitation of the girl child be it India or Syria or Iran or Sri Lanka. There are still many parts of the world, where a woman is molested, raped, a girl child killed within the womb or is ill-treated etc. I have written this poem with all my heart to tell the world what a girl child or woman goes through – one can relate to a few customs I have mentioned below as those that belong in India.
I always believe a girl can be as delicate as a flower or rage strongly like the fire, she can be cool, calm bringing the winds of change or the storm that can bring about a complete revolution in the world. This is a tribute to all the girls and women in the world and a reminder to society that irrespective of your countless crimes and exploitation of a girl child, every girl every woman will stand tall, strong and live up to the pride of their own life and being.. come what may!
To the most heartless patriarchal society,
She wanted to be brought to the world with love, equality and to be the apple of your eye,
The news of her arrival made you sad with the feeling of burden and the wish that you wanted a boy.
You instilled so much terror in the house with your ‘son’ expectations that mentally harassed your wives,
And in those wombs, she crumbled with fear as she knew you would kill her when she arrives.
While some celebrated with joy sharing sweets as they termed her arrival as the birth of a Goddess,
But the others were so dejected that they abandoned her in a garbage where she lied motionless.
Your ego, fears, societal rules and unnecessary pressures made you the demon of the house,
You had no idea how chaotic and hell of a life you made for your life partner, your spouse.
Yet in some homes, she became the princess with her cute smile bringing immense amount of joy,
She became the life of the house, spreading charm and love with everyone getting her favorite toy.
As her little feet began to slowly move around your home tapping one by one back and forth,
You slowly began to make progress in wealth and prosper with no worry of shortage or dearth.
Her short silky hair was tucked with beautiful clips and her pretty little frocks swayed in the wind,
Yet in the society, men took advantage of her innocence to quench their lust and got her pinned.
Her tiny eyes worried and scared, not knowing the difference between a good touch or the bad,
To see men falling to this creepy crime of molesting a child is horrendous and terribly sad.
As she grew, she saw dreams of becoming a pilot , a mountaineer, a firefighter, a racer,
Her family just laughed, found these as her childishness and believed these were not meant for her.
While some parents tried their best to make her strong and treat her equal to her brother,
But the grandparents still believed in their ancient ideologies that she was always lower than any other.
Her love for alphabets, numbers, sentences, songs, drawings and rhymes grew,
She loved holding the pencil and the brush adding colors to the paper from yellow to blue.
While some had the privilege of going to school holding their bags wearing uniforms of white,
The other girls were forced to stay home doing household chores, with no hopes of education in sight.
The perks of good mid day meals during school was used by the Government to allow girls to study,
The mothers loved their girls so much that they permitted them to go,learn off their concrete yet homes of muddy.
While some fathers returned home every evening to spend time with them and do their homework,
Others just returned back late all drunk with egoistic anger, beating their wives and daughters like a jerk.
While the women who managed their homes were married off post their dreams being sacrificed,
They vowed to not let their offsprings suffer and promised to fulfill their dreams at any cost or price.
The little girls grew from six to eight to ten, excelling from studies to exploring their hidden talents,
Even then men used their cheap tricks to molest their sweet innocence and cover their sins with silence.
As she entered the age of puberty, the scars of these molestation injured her childish innocent soul,
From her chirpy talks to her dancing feet, from her cheerful smile to sparkling eyes, all quietened on the whole.
At puberty, she began to slowly become the bud that was delicately soft growing with tender care,
Her feet still danced, was going places with changes in her body and the shine in her flowing hair.
With every year passing by, she grew up excelling in her studies and soaring high in her sweet teens,
While the other girls were deprived of this blessing of education only to be married at the age of sixteen.
At that age she was separated from her parents to manage a relationship, new family and home,
These societal pressures robbed off her innocence while she was just growing like the delicate brome.
From sixteen to eighteen, while some dreamt high of soaring and touching the sky,
The others were forced to have sex, conceive and bring up their next generation with a baby boy.
The pressures on them increased multi fold with harassments, rapes, dowry cases rising,
They were still naïve learning and getting to know the world, but their respect was definitely downsizing.
While some moved from one course to another, stepping outside homes on their own wheels,
The world’s dirty eyes scrutinized their dressing accusing them to be revealing from head to heels.
The difference of freedom began to crop in at homes between a son and a daughter,
While the son could stay out as long as he could but the time for the daughter to stay out got shorter.
As she stepped into the twenties, some became independent enough to get themselves a job,
While the others became mothers, handling home and kids with their dreams getting robbed.
While the disparity of man and woman was meagre inside homes and intense in the outside world,
How she should dress, what time she should be home, how much she could earn – all rules were hurled.
The right age to marry was 22-25 she was told, the same age where she was getting headstrong,
The right to earn and manage the house is always of a son, while at home is where the daughter belonged.
While the process of matchmaking wasn’t as easy as every member questioned her on every aspect,
From her color to her body shape, from her cooking skills to her education everything was checked.
During marriage, it was all about treating the boy’s side with respect, fervor and keeping it all grand,
With undue pressure of dowry, gifts for all, high splurging was forced out of her parents on every brand.
Post marriage, all her dreams got washed away like the storm that ruined an entire town,
She was forced and ordered to talk, walk, behave, act, breath etc like she was a slave hell bent to drown.
She wanted to earn, go up the career ladder, make a mark for herself and get independent,
The society forced her to step down with the notions of handling home, her husband and to get pregnant.
There were still women in their age of 28-30s not married off but still trying hard to make all ends meet,
The society only laughed and demeaned their sanctity calling them expired, weak and completely off beat.
When in the following years she is unable to conceive, she is looked down in the worst manner,
The society does not realize that the man can also be at fault and she is not the only blame banner.
When she conceives a boy, she is respected, blessed, treated like the queen to a prince,
But when she gives birth to a girl, she is scolded, cursed, disrespected and left to wince.
There was no age left of a woman that did not get raped or robbed off her modesty or ill treated,
Yet she was taken for a ride, exploited off her sanctity, molested and thoroughly defeated.
With all this torture, pressure, mental and physical harassment crushing the delicate flower she was,
The society and the men only behaved like the jungle animals with fierce eyes and deadly claws.
She still stood up with a strong will, shouted like a warrior and faced the shameless ill-treating crowd,
With the eyes of a hungry tigress to the mind of a fighter, she fought them all alone on her moral ground.
You put her through the fire of hell, torture her or rape her modesty to the extreme,
Yet she will rage out of the hell fire, fight through it all, come out strongly and reign in supreme.
From carrying on her duties to managing relationships, she can carry them all really well,
She can make or break the house they say, she can definitely make a place either heaven or hell.
When a man loses his job or standing, a woman will go out of her way, earn and keep up the respect,
Her silence is her weakness and one can exploit her in every way, is not something that one should expect.
Educate her, give her confidence, believe in her and she will stand strongly on her feet,
She will fight all odds, face all challenges, yet keep her family’s respect intact and never cheat.
She deserves the respect at all stages of her life that your shameless society fails to provide,
She will always remain a warrior, a goddess, a hero, a fighter and will win everything in her stride.
Remember, you can kill her in the womb or ill-treat her so worse like the sole of your shoe,
Yet she has the power to stand, rise, shine , soar, fly and will remain best in everything she will do.