How deeply are the values ingrained?
Every time you try to pick yourself up
From your rock bottom
How many times have you pulled at your skirt
Pants, tees, anything you loved as a kid
Too short? Too tight? Too much of display
Your conscience telling your values
You shouldn’t have!
You SO should not have worn that
Why did you wear this?
Now what will they think of you
How many times have you averted your eyes
When a guy’s eyes bore straight into yours
Mostly into what was below
‘Avert your eyes, that helps,’ your mom told you
Don’t look straight, bend your head
Don’t even think of replying back
Apologise if someone screams at you
The inner voice reminded you
What your old lady made sure not to be forgotten
How many times have you thought
before you ate your Maharaja Mac
Thinking you’d cut on the mayo
Even the cheese, the extra cheese you always loved
Because, hey, the sound of “you lost weight! Wow!”
Was much desired by the conditioning you received
How many times have you cowered
For being too smart,
As you struggled out of this moulding process
You hear that voice inside you
Such a slut, when you saw another girl
You’re angry at yourself
You scold yourself, knowing how wrong that was
But you fail to realise
The cooing of the neighbouring prick of a woman
Oh that’s not how a woman should be!
You never knew
How deeply it was ingrained in you
Mythili describes herself as someone who’s always told she’s too old for her age. She’s crisis-ing between poetry and prose, landing nowhere in particular.