Modest Mistakes

Standard

Today
In the bazaar
My mother and I
Were crossing the road
When three boys
Went right past us
And one of them
Let out
A
Big Shout
I did not move
Because, I’m a bit slow
When it comes to processing events
My mother, however
Was startled
I opened my mouth to curse at them
But then she clenched my hand
And it was a sign
Not to

Today
I learnt where this instinct comes from
And I know why she stopped me
My mother has been taught by her mother
To never be a retaliator
Heck, never be an initiator
And she taught me this that moment, as well

Today
I learnt that this has been passed down to us
Because as soon as our daughters learn to walk
With their back straight
We try to bend it down
Shame and compromise are stuffed down our throats
Before we learn to speak

Today
I learnt that this cycle will never end
Because I’ve been scripted to belong
Not to myself
But to someone else
I am someone’s
Love
Lust
Pride
Property

Today
I learnt that there is no visible way out
Society gets to label me
My own gender does
Like my mother
I was taught
“To be good and quiet”
Each level defined
Belonging in the grey zone
No black or white
What those boys did
They might have forgotten

But, today
Things were made clear
That in the act of brining this generation up
We have repeated the same mistake
The mothers of our mothers made
Letting it slide under the pretext
“Boys will be boys”
And slowly but gradually
We successfully managed
To bend
Our daughters back

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About Bano

I’m trying to find a better introduction but since, I can’t? Hi! I’m Sheher Bano Zafar and I write. I write not because there lies aspiration to be a writer someday but because, it keeps me sane. I love the color silver, black and grey. I also realize that they fall under the same color tone. Whatever, I write is a result of my 3 a.m blues or insomniac depressive tendencies. I can’t write during the day. I’m addicted to caffeine and well, anything and everything (if I like it). Also, I suck at conversations. I bite my nails. Most of the time I’m clueless about the world around me. I love politics and youth activism. People tell me that art and politics don’t belong in the same mind, but I’m passionate about both. One day I might be drawing on a canvas or writing a story and the very next day I will be heading off to attend a summit on the role of youth at the United Nations. I have multiple people trapped in the same body. Each side does try to express itself, in minimal ways if not fully. I’m currently going through a rough patch in life. I guess, I’m adjusting to the world through multiple perceptions. I absolutely love talking to myself because an expert opinion is always required. Most of the time, I just play scenarios in my mind that would never happen. I’m very contradictory in my thought process and actions but it is okay, people get to be what they want to be as long as no other soul is hurt. Peace out!

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