What is this society,
where we have to pretend,
to be someone else,
only to get acceptance.
Painted faces, like canvases,
only to hide our flaws.
Why are we supposed to be pretty,
in order to be beautiful?
Short clothes, invite men.
Tell me why then,
was a three-year-old,
raped and killed so brutally?
Why cannot you teach men,
avert your eyes, respect women?
Why is it we have to hide
behind a veil of pretence?
Particular ways to sit and eat
are taught to girls of ages two and three.
Somewhere else female feticide
is practised openly.
Don’t go out late at night,
Don’t be friends with these men,
Don’t sit in this ostensive manner,
Don’t open your mouth unnecessarily.
Why is it we have to be,
a flower pot or decorative piece?
Mary Kom, Indra Gandhi,
were they any less ladies?
Delicate, elegant, soft-spoken,
are these the only qualities of a lady?
Why can’t we just choose,
who we really want to be?
Let us remove our masks,
show the world who we truly are.
Pilot, soldier, astronaut, doctor,
for a woman, nothing is an impossible task.