Poem for my Indian Parents (Who Refuse to Accept me for the way I am)

a poem by NILANJANA HALDAR, India

You taught me that I must fight and hate
That I can only win or lose with my conjugal mate
You will never let me choose someone I truly desire
Your reason—“What if that spoils our cultural attire?!”

I have found what I love and how I wish to live
I strive to be the best I can be with all I can give,
I have failed to measure up to the version you planned
Was I created merely to serve every parental demand?

Every single day I wish to and try to die,
The accomplished facade people see above, is only a lie,
Were it not for my cowardice, I would be dead by now,
Leaving behind this crazy, restricted life to which I am supposed to bow.

Why did you create a worthless fiction of me, never allowed to live?
Why not buy a doll that wouldn’t be as combative?
Why decide everything I must do, where I must go, what I must pursue?
Why create this ship of dreams only to remove the inherent moorings and screw?

Whenever you force me to follow you, I feel like rocks inside lungs,
Whenever you decide that you know best, I feel like I’m surrounded by guns,
Alas! This style which you decided for me wastes my universal gifts
Was it a plan that you would kick my innate goodness off the cliffs?!

If it ever matters to you, proceed to read the following lines
As I describe what it is I really am, way beyond your parental guidelines,
I desire the pen, paper and my imaginative mind,
I desire peace, freedom and no marriage as yours, so unkind.
But currently I am only searching for a way to leave humankind.

—-By Nilanjana Haldar

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