I am

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For years I looked for a yardstick around

To measure my worth against, certain that once found

Steps I could take to bring myself higher

Up to the standards to which I did aspire

As a woman I was expected to be

Invested in my outer beauty

Growing up steeped in the collective conscious

Of a developing nation full of folks ambitious

I had to be appropriately, intellectually bent

To guarantee against competition my ascent

I had to choose a vocation that was respected

I had to excel at my work, that was expected

As an Indian woman I had to uphold tradition

Even if I was carried far by my ambition

I was supposed to lead a lifestyle cautiously comfortable

Never indulge in actions that could become regrettable

**

I thought I was measuring up quite all right

I groomed myself well, appeared cheerful and bright

Found my vocation in being a physician

Checked off the box of a suitable profession

Settled in the safe monotony of middle class living

I did not take risks, took decisions only after giving

To every proposed idea of action deliberate thought

I had a safety net, though exciting my life was not

Moved across continents but did not forget

My traditions, my culture, they held my respect

**

I was probably near perfect by every measure

That I could think of, yet I felt no pleasure-

I an not the way I look or the size I wear

Judging my worth by my profession is also unfair

The label of a perfect Indian woman does not define me

I might fit those molds but God did not design me

To fit into categories completely arbitrary

Meant to distract from the whole that is me

I don’t need labels to project my worth anyway

I exist, I’m alive, I can think, love and work today

And that is sufficient for me to say

I am worth it because I just am, today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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