My Childhood

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I miss my childhood
I miss it so much.
As I turn the pages of my book of life,
I find it has already covered thirty long chapters,
And feel myself trapped in vivid memories of old time.
As the account progresses
And my age climbs the next step of the ladder,
The words once written in letters of gold and silver
Begin to lose their lustre.
I miss my childhood stage,
Somebody return me my gold-n-silver days.

When I read the chapters that talk about my school days,
My eyes shine like pearls and they leave a smile on my face.
I miss the army-life, the valour, elegance, discipline and graciousness,
That taught me to be honest, hardworking and fight for righteousness.
I miss my school teachers who loved me like their daughters.
I miss the respect I got from my friends,
Who liked me for my behaviour.
I miss my Mumma's love and care,
Which she showered after I returned.
I miss her incessant calls for lunch
Like an old record.
Where has that recorder lost?
I want it back again.
I miss my childhood stage,
Somebody return me my school days.

I remember, before my pubescence,
I was invited for ‘Kanya Puja'
A day when young girls are worshipped and treated like a Diva.
We were offered new clothes and dainties,
And represented the form of Goddess Durga.
A day to recognise the feminine power,
A day for which I waited for the whole year.
One such special day my mum found me depressed
As on that day, unlike others, I was not invited.
‘You're no more a young girl, you're now stained',
‘You bleed, so you're impure and profane', she explained.
Though I was too immature to understand the explanation,
I still accepted the rejection,
And watched other young girls' deification.
How vague and trivial a day it was, now I realise.
Such a custom has no value in a society -I reside,
Where newspapers are filled with reports of female infanticide.
Where girls are considered a burden after their birth,
And all their dreams are burnt in the Sacred hearth.
Where girls are considered only a matter of flesh and blood,
Where girls are nothing more than a machine of childbirth.
I miss my childhood stage,
Somebody return me my ‘pure' and ‘unprofane' days.

I visited my granny's house
During our summer holidays,
Where I received exciting gifts and many surprises.
Every morning I escorted her to morning walks,
To breathe in the scented air,
And collected all the flowers that fell on the lap of earth.
I wondered why they slept on ground,
Instead of their mother's placid bosom.
I wondered how people dishonoured them,
And abused them as trodden.
Now I realise, it is not so abnormal;
We girls too resemble those fallenflowers.
We are born to beautify the world,
And when our role is over,
We are abandoned or discarded
Like the ‘trodden' flowers.
We are girls, we can never be the heirs.
I miss my childhood stage,
Somebody return me my summer holidays.

I like the chapters that recount my monsoon fun,
The days when I drenched in rain frantically,
And gave excuses to my mum.
I caught cough and cold
And my mum kept awake.
She sat beside me that night,
Rubbing some oil on my feet, that she made.
And my dad who was worried,
Massaged balm on my forehead.
I miss my childhood stage,
Somebody return me my rainy days.

The chapters which arouse my emotion
Are those that talk about my Puja Celebration—
The time to buy new clothes, shoes, jewelleries and for jubilation.
My eyes kept fixed at the empty hall
Decorated with flowers, colours, lights and crafts of thermocol,
I waited eagerly for the Durga idol.
I loved to see the women welcoming Her,
Blowing conches and showering flowers.
I spent the four days - Shashti, Saptami, Ashtami and Navami
With lots of excitement every hour.
Then came the last day of the celebration -the Vijaya Dashami,
When all the women played with vermilion,
Wearing red bordered white saree.
They offered sweets to the idol,
And celebrated the day to bid Her farewell.
I wondered why they rejoiced,
When they knew it was the end of their revel.
I overheard some ladies discussing with each other,
The day signifies victory of good over evil,
A day to commemorate women power that devoured the devil.
Their conversation sounded interesting,
So I tried to understand them being attentive.
Though they failed to squelch my thoughts that were troubling,
It took me a long time to interpret the meaning.

I can now apprehend their unuttered, unexpressed words.
We girls are forms of Mother Goddess
Who came to earth with a purpose.
We are born to purify the world,
And then immersed in the river of Patriarchal Universe.
The mouth that sucks nectar from our breasts,
Abuse us and bite us.
The fingers we hold to teach them to walk or run,
Are used to slap us or scratch us for fun.
I feel proud to live in a nation
Where we read about women's contribution;
And worship woman power, her tolerance, her sacrifice and dedication.
But my pride gets shattered into pieces
And I feel ashamed,
Owing to the disgraceful, wicked sons
Who are born on this holy Earth,
And spoil the name of our mother nation,
Who treat us as their possession
To satisfy their passion.
I miss my childhood stage,
Somebody return me my untroublesome and ignorant days.

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COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Dr Antony Theodore 08 July 2018

so many thoughts. but when i realize that indian society is like this, i am so sad.......... living in a western nation, there are no such practices....... for us in India all the customs, religious practices and thoughts kill a continued..........human being.. terrific society........ women have to come up and raise their voices.. there should be a movement on the part of women for women........ may your poem open the eyes of many.. thank u. God bless u. tony

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Dr Antony Theodore 08 July 2018

I miss my childhood stage, Somebody return me my gold-n-silver days. kanya Puja, girls resemble the fallen flowers. possession for passion.. i want to go back to my childhood innocence.......... beautiful poem dear poetess.

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