Alive yet Unalive

by Chandra Sundeep
Alive yet unalive

Tender buds sway carefree

Crooning amidst the verdant

Rejoicing in the tender caress

They are alive; they are free

They are home; they are safe

That’s how children should be

Free and safe

Loved and cared for, isn’t it?

But why am I not allowed to be free

Free to be who I am

Free to sing, free to dance

I am alive; yet unalive

My heart cries

Bleeding silent tears into oblivion

For there’s none to hear me

None to see me

Shackled by society

Bound by patriarchy

I scream to be free

I yearn to be me

I crave for a home filled with love

But the house is just walls, devoid of emotions

Never ending work, my sole friend

Sorrow and tears my loyal companions

The courtyard defines my boundaries

Norms seals my identity, drown my voice

Don’t speak, obey your elders

That’s all I hear, that’s all I do

Joyous cackles boom all around

Boisterous boys enjoying being alive

Let boys be boys, says my mother

Pointing to the kitchen needing my attention

How I wish to run and play

Pine to feel the wind in my hair

Be free for a moment

And feel alive for once

My mother’s hug is all I crave for

Her loving embrace is all I desire

She loves her sons with all her heart

But there’s no place, no solace for the daughter

So what if I am a girl

It isn’t my fault; it isn’t a curse

I long to be heard,

To be seen, to be felt

My desires are simple,

My dreams are few

But most of all, I yearn to write and read

The pen will become my savior, my voice, my identity

Then I will live

And be alive


For once

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