If not a mother, who am I?

I guess I am not much of an Indian

But, then I have never been enamored with the culture that has been trying to fit me into it

And apparently listening to Sitar tunes in the morning before I start my work was never enough

Neither was all the literature I amassed over the years

So, when my philosophy diverges so, and I wish to protest against someone

In the street, with a drunken heart that wishes for someone to listen to my screams

I guess, I forgo my right to my Indian-ness

I lose a part of me as a Bengali too

Because I dare critique the poets they hold so dear

Because I dare interpret them sexually, I dare to wear their devotion songs as my source of erotic

So, when I sing a tune or two, drunk again, this time in my sexuality

Standing before my lover, the one I sacrifice myself to, I am allowed to recite Rumi

But, the intelligent “public” doesn’t want Rabindranath soiled thus

And me in my brassiere become an icon for the wasted youth, the worst delinquent

My mother doesn’t consider me either

Because her “good boy” husband chosen for me, chose to leave me alone

When I was just beginning to grow around the belly

I guess I am still not Indian enough to turn to other cheek to the demands he made on me

But, these do not hurt, I have been shunned by those closest to me before

I have been told by a serious friend that he is leaving me because I could not love him back

I knew I was hurting him then, but, my little heart had been broken by another man just before

Years after, when I messaged him, he just smiled, I was just another “Read” message in his profile

It is not that I look for love either

I look for something that resembles, I look for something that makes me feel the same

Sometimes it is trysts with unknown men, some days it is music, some days it’s my daughter

Who has grown so much, and does not complain when I entertain

This motley of non-serious friends I have made

I am not a person

At least not until I am married

Or so my landlord says, when she comes a knocking every first day

Thankfully, they do live far away, and I can still bring in some of my friends

Yet, the comments she makes, makes me cry so much

So much so that my teenage child takes over when I get out that day

I guess it is my fault too that way, I never learnt not to be unruly, and was never taught anything against

I have lost all rights as a human too, in the process

It is easier to rationalize to myself

That the stares are inevitable no matter what comes by

But, it becomes harder when you say the same to your 6 year old child

Because mommy does not cover up because of the stares, which she can rationalize by evolution

But, a theory is not enough satiation for the hole created by the women who tell her their life stories

I try to keep her away, and keep myself in check for the longest stretches of time

But, you need love too, and that’s when I indulge

I think she learnt a few curse words from me these last few weeks, and that hurts me

Hurts me more than this guy who was the nicest man in the bar, starts slapping me, and I have to chase him out

And my 6 year old looks on, at her mother’s nudity, she probably knows I am not much of a woman too

Oh, did I tell you? I am not a woman

I am fear, I am strength, the internet fables speak of me as a hero

And forget to tell them of what a fucked up person I became

I guess, the fact that my daughter knew how to recite the English alphabet first is more important

But, is success measured in that alone?

I know how she would suffer if any day she wishes to have her passport

I know my mother would tell her to stay for longer periods of time because she fears I will…

I am a mother still

I scold her when it is too late at night

I only bring men in when my friend in need has told me she has gone to sleep

I don’t drink as much

And cigarettes I smoke only two

I want to her to respect my nakedness but, I hide it so that she does not fall prey to someone else

I am a mother still

I fear for her when it is late at night and my cab is late in arriving

And I miss two of her poetry recitals because office kept me so busy

When she tells me, chastises me for being myself is when I am afraid the most

I am hardly an Indian, slightly a Bengali, not at all a woman, barely a person, so except a mother, what could I be?





10 thoughts on “If not a mother, who am I?

  1. You are honest, not a quality found easily. Doesnt matter what else you are, because you have that one rare quality thats really important. Then you have the gift of writing through which you can freely express yourself. Enjoy being you.


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