Just A Girl

Mother, Oh ! Mother, please send me to school

With books, bag and pencils and a wooden footrule .

Then I too like brother shall add two and two-

And read all your letters

Like the village Postmen do.

I’m tired of rolling out flour every day

Of milking the cow and cutting the hay.

Oh ! daughter, my daughter, I would send you there

If you were a boy, my son and an heir

Stay shut in your oyster, hush bridegroom’s pearl-

Because oh ! my daughter you are only a girl.



NOTE: In India, even today, in the remote areas and villages girls face discrimination. They are not educated and often malnourished . Child marriages are still a reality in some states. This poem speaks of this.

*I wrote this many years ago when ‘snail mail’ was the only sort of mail we had and postmen delivered mail at the door. Hence the mention of a “Postman.” They are a rarity these days.


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