By Shameem Shakat-Hussain

I was born a daughter.

A label I found too heavy to master.

Opportunities came at a cost.

Sacrifices came as a must.

Riding the waves of my youth.

With disproportionate rights.

Intrinsically embedded.

And re-enforced by all.

Loving sister I was to be.

Caring and generous.

Mothering my siblings.

Social norms constructed cleverly.

Womanly duties I accomplished rightly.

I blinked once and I blinked twice.

And it all disappeared.

My dreams, my wants and my rights.

The mould of a perfect wife.

Who obeyed the absent mate.

Making circular rotis.

The ones I sleepwalked through.

The dreams I dreamt.

The battles I never fought.

Living life in a missionary state.

Like others of my sort.

The cultured who remained in the dark ages.

The respected who wrote those pages.

I challenge them all.

I hold them accountable.

For the wrongs inflicted.

To the depleted.

Without a doubt I knew I was right.

To continue this epic fight.

In the once lonely place.

I found my sisters and my daughters stood.

Moving mountains and striding along.

The norm is what we burst.

The pen, mightier than the sword.

So, we choose our words wisely.

In this fight for fairness.

And re-write the dialogue.

That would free us all, finally.

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