by Debangana Mishra
What I no longer remember,
Who I no longer remember is
Was there ever a ‘me’? I wonder…
I remember the unmaking of me.
I remember the making of an image.
An image of compliance, of silence, of
Perfect femininity, or so people called it.
Learn to sing the song they choose for you.
Learn to dance the routine they decide for you.
Learn to say the dialogues they write for you.
The journal of my life is almost full,
And all the entries are made in
I flip the pages like a madwoman. But
I don’t find any traces of myself in there.
How is it possible? I am sure
I wrote it and yet,
The words don’t feel mine.
The tone doesn’t feel mine.
The language doesn’t feel mine.
I have been defined as
Someone in relation to
Someone Else. I am
Daughter, sister, wife, daughter-in-law, mother,
And apart from these relationships, these strings of bondage?
Aren’t I woman too? Or is this identity
Also subject to terms and conditions
Of your society?