Your given right
We’ve learnt to not be like our mothers, like our grandmothers, like our khalas and maasis
We’ve learnt that our space can no longer be denied, no longer snatched away from us
We’ve learnt that our footsteps never needed to be soft, small and on our toes
We’ve learnt that we weren’t made to swallow our voices, to banish our dreams
We’ve learnt that men have taken from us, time and time again:
Have dragged us down, abandoned us, erased us.
But we’ve learnt to draw again.
We’ve learnt that our power never lay in shut lips and tied tongues
It never lay in bowing down, serving on our knees.
Our power comes from within.
Funny isn’t it?
You spend your whole life being told all you’ve been made to do is please the men who’ve given you a life:
That you’re naught but an empty vessel
Only colourful when a man deems you worthy.
That the woman standing next to you is your biggest enemy, and so is that samosa
That the curves on your body are a curse, meant to be hidden and never found again
That the colour of your skin tells the world of your beauty.
You spend your whole life being told what to do, how to feel, what to wear, what to eat, how to walk, jump and smile.
Even how to think.
Time and time again you watch your brothers, uncles, even fathers get away with things so distasteful, so vulgar and crude
That you wished, you wished you were a man. Free and true.
Not bound by your mothers reins and the man’s world.
But we’ve learnt, we’ve fought, we’re fighting.
We’re taking back what is ours, you’re taking back what is yours.
Let your voice be heard. Shout. Scream. Roar. Cry.
Let your thoughts flow, flow. Drown in it all.
Let your beauty shine and shine, that when a man touches you it burns him.
Let your dreams soar. Never stop those dreams. Dream till it hurts, till you ache with such desire only a woman can hold.
And when they stop you, when they say no
Don’t listen. I beg of you. Don’t listen.
We’ve been made to cry, to bleed, to beg, to crawl, to serve, to hurt, to forgive, to be soft and full of nothing but love, to understand that men walk this earth while we are merely little ants.
I want you to remember.
Remember your strength. The strength only a woman can have, can hold.
We’ve lived far too long, never realising that men wouldn’t be here if our bellies couldn’t carry them.
Walk this earth knowing you’re no less than the man standing next to you.
Walk this earth knowing no one else has the strength which you carry inside of you.
Our power, your power, lies in your voice. Inside of you. There’s a world, a universe: it’s yours.
Take it. Take your given right.