A Smile

A smile that makes me adorable

A smile that defines my personality

indispensable from my self identity

Was imprisoned for many years

In the dungeon of social norms.

The “Sanskaar” what was injected  

To become an ideal woman

Debarred my lips and heart

Not to smile in open spirits

My smile was lost in the social structure

Where my caste man will build his family

I will not have my own existence 

And have to give a fake smile

When they feel it is required.

The photo shoot was going on earlier

My lips were closed 

Witnessing my submission

To a subjugated system

Where a smiling face is a danger to “Ijjat”

And heartfelt laughing

Defines my character.

I was like standing in the parade class

Where smile does not come under discipline

And my photo shoot for many years 

Was a pretending diary 

Where nothing was true.

In front of clicking sound

If u are asked not to smile

The situation must be so ghast

Your socialization 

 With great cultural values

Stings me really

I wonder

How the nightmare  got passed.

When I tried to smile

Going against their intent

Before the camera

People were saying

With this open jaw 

you don’t look good

And  i absolutely feel

living a life without smile

Completely like

Surviving sans food.

And now I know my self

While trying constant to introspect me

Loosing my smile is loosing the self

What actually defines me.

Now a days my each photo shoot 

Sees my teeth, makes me beautiful

And this is the wonderful gem

What I really own for me.

The credit of my smile goes to many

Who have struggled hard to give 

This smiling life

Buddha taught the humanitarian path

The emancipation of mind and body

The searching of truth

To have a heart of compassion

Practicing metta

Behind all agony

The struggle of Jotiba and Savitri

To make accessible a paper and a pen

Where we will rewrite our history

And reimagine our future

Against all oppression

How come I forget

The sacrifices made by Ramai

Now nourishing my concepts

Babasaheb gave the idea to cultivate one’s mind

Keeping in the pivot 

Liberty, equality and fraternity

With stressing upon

Moral, love and beauty.

Since they were concealed before

And I was forced to live a life without smile

because

a system called brahminical patriarchy

Fabricated a web of cultural normativity

where me and

My smile were struggling.

— Poem by Mamata Sahu

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