Photo: Flickr / Renu Parkhi

It will be…

On the night you were born

We did not give sweets to the neighbors

We cried out, ‘another girl’!

Never mind

You are here now

To belong to us you need to…

Work hard in class so I can be proud

If you are too smart

There will be no match for you

It will be your scandal

Ignore the boys playing football

If you kick the ball that lands at your feet

It will be told you played with boys

It will be your embarrassment

Learn to cook succulent chicken biryani and lamb samosas

If your husband loses weight or eats elsewhere

It will be your guilt

Cover yourself up from head to toe

If men whistle at you

And you blush and stumble

It will be your disgrace

Feel love, only for your family

If you wake your feelings and fall for a non-believer

Your heart will become broken and we will disown you

It will be your grief

Sew clothes using a pattern or crochet tablecloths

If you make a rare brave thing

Your soul will become wild and daring

It will be your agony

Think only pure thoughts

If you have independent beliefs and ideas

Your mind will become confused and over stimulated

It will be your madness

Fold your arms and keep your legs crossed

If a man pushes you up against a wall

And forces his tongue into your mouth

It will be your shame

Keep you eyes on the ground

‘What if I fall father’?

‘I wont be able to see where I’m going’.

Then you will be a fallen woman

The best you can hope for is a dutiful death

A heart attack, whilst washing your husbands feet

On a Friday, with sweat on your forehead

Then you will be spared the trial of the grave