On women’s day! / Poem by Lily Swarn


Poem by Lily Swarn
On women’s day!
Let me for once stand tall
Despite my diminutive stature
Allow me to stride like a Titan
With my short legs lengthened with
Higher than high heels
See ! I can enunciate each syllable
Just like you
And I recognise most of the cricketers
Who you clap for or abuse when the match swings either way
Watch me pretend to be a dumb blond to cater to your gigantic ego
Fed on paranthas by your doting mater
Look how I carefully camouflage my smirk and convert it into an ingratiating
Fawning feminine smile
With just the right amount of girlish giggles thrown in for good measure
I can manage a household on shoe string budgets
And stretch my Crimson lipstick till as long as it can
Rustling up passable dinners from left overs in the fridge are as easy
As flying that mighty jumbo airliner which they call Dreamliner rather appropriately
My business plans draw claps as much as my black lace blouse
Don’t patronise me for a day and watch me glow like Diwali
Stop sniggering and saying
” oh you women make such a fuss “”
” well I said it will be like this so no more arguments'”
Hey , it doesn’t take all that much effort
If you agree graciously instead of making it sound like a debt that will never be repaid
How about the times I wept all night with stomach cramps
Or the agonising shrieks of child birth
Were you there ?
How about the time when the baby coughed all night and you decided to walk to the other room ?
No harm of course coz you had to go to work
You forgot that the house would not run on its own either next morning
It would need the much scorned ‘house wife ‘
Now smartly referred to as the home maker
It always hurt when you complimented that lady with the plunging neckline
Right there in front of me
While I tightly draped my saree around your buxom frame
And pretended to enjoy that atrocious cola drink amidst raucous masculine laughter
The beer bellied belches of brazen boys pretending to be men
Amidst superiority laden conversation
‘ oh you women will never understand this ! Go and talk about clothes and maids !”
This cave man thing went away ages ago but the menacing frown on men’s faces just got deeper
Concrete territories and plush office chairs
Took on the role of marked mental fences
The acidity and gastric ulcers got worse
As the control of the remote control after a hectic day in air conditioned infections got violent
Sinister silences crept up instead of guffaws
Women remained just as they had always been
Men somehow missed the point .
Copyright Lily Swarn 5.3.2017

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