You have endured so much

You have endured so much

You have braved so much

As a village girl

In the clutches of poverty

Studying, cooking, washing

As a city girl

In the murky waters

Of office politics and gossip

Tears well up in your eyes

As a colleague revels in his sport

Of cracking jokes at your expense

You calmly wipe them away

And laugh along with the rest

After all, work is worship

Your colleagues are your family

Even if the only time

They truly act like kith and kin

Is when they share biscuits

As you burn the midnight oil

Your boss rewards you

By calling you names

And giving a promotion

To that nasty colleague

Who derives vicious satisfaction

In making your life hell

But a voice inside you says

Ignore them, just work hard

Because you need the paycheck

For your dear family

 

You have endured so much

You have braved so much

As a married woman

Through so many periods and menstrual cycles

Fighting the urge to have that cookie

During the midnight cravings

Fighting the pain

That pierces your stomach

Like a hundred needles

As the foetus takes shape

The pain grows tenfold

But every woman

Is supposed to welcome this pain

After all, every woman

Is a potential mother

So what if it is not her choice?

So what if she wishes to avoid the pain?

A woman’s role

Is to be a baby producing machine

In our great Brahmanical patriarchy

 

You have endured so much

You have braved so much

Why is the wait so long?

Every day you wake up

Expecting the infant to burst forth crying

Piercing your body

Why has so much pain

Been thrust on you?

 

You have endured so much

You have braved so much

Could not some one richer, more privileged

Been chosen for a Cesarean delivery?

 

You have endured so much

You have braved so much

You are now a proud mother

You have the werewithal

To weather any storm

That is thrust on you

By Nature

By your colleagues

Even by your family

Because you don’t give up

And I am so proud

To be your friend

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