i really can't get them
even after growing up in a house full of women
or maybe this is exactly why.
noun/ a test of endurance, strength and resilience.
but why and for whom ?
through fables and fear, they tried to teach me
and just like that i lost my faith.
what sort of a trial is womanhood ?
that even your shadow is tied like a kite to its string
but strung not to your body
nor your soul
but the shadow of another
whose whims dictate tunes for you to play
in my family, they
weave webs of sacrifices
upon the pyres of dignity,
douse it in chastity
and garland it on their daughters
heirlooms of honour
no girl asked for.
adornment/ auspicious threads to visually solemnize marriage
covered in gold
the noose never looked prettier
as she was exchanged from man to man
nikkafied they say.
i have seen
strip chickens and beat them up
into fillets and fries,
biryanis and kheemas.
her bulging veins ready to burst.
but just like her, they sustain.
my grandmother’s once red fingers
are no longer nails
but keratin shells
and crusty talons
deprived of henna stains
from when she took over the role
of being everybody’s masseuse
manoeuvring to the patriarch’s whimsies
i used to not believe in samsara
never really understood the how
but now as i stand in front of my house
and see these women float
as soulless shadows in their own homes
whose only goal is to entrap me in the same
if all of this self imposed glory and selfless altruism
will land them any hoor-il ayins
or will they just end up
crippled, forgotten and curled up in the corner
like my grandma with dementia
and getting forgotten
will i ever comprehend women ?
Haifa Maryam is a final year literature student and is a vintage aficionado who loves exploring new cities. Plath and Gilmore Girls are her only consolation sometimes in this Kafkaesque world.