Tough Love.


20° 35' 37.2624" N, 78° 57' 46.368" E

lovely girl, my beautiful little lovely girl
my talented, my special bud.
you who flowered from my womb one fateful day of July.
my sunflower child that brightened the sickly wet season.

these were words my mother never said to me,
there was no special, there was no beautiful, there were no flowers,
only instructions and warnings.

Age 11,  I'd lie on my bedroom floor wishing I was dead.
I'd make a shrine out of pillows and blankets and I'd look up at the ceiling,
and I'd say, take me, take me now, I don't think I can live without love anymore. scratched wrists and hurtful jokes,  I fell so weighed down and my hand can't reach around my stomach anymore,  I feel so fat so, just fly me away.

Age 13, I fall in with the smile staring back at me
from the mirror,
the full eyes behind the heavy glasses,
the terribly speckled skin and a mouth full of metal.
I started reading better, seeing better and felling better
and on the way I teach myself how to love me.

you are special, my angel, look around you, just look at this tasteless crowd.
you are special, you know about the world and its intricacies in ways their stale lives will never allow them to,
your thoughts are more interesting then the sum total of conversations they will have in their entire lives,
and you create art their inferior minds could never contemplate.
you are special.

Age 15,
I'm hiding the screen-light under my sheets, I read classics now,
I watch YouTubers make art in the form of videos,
a daily vlog, talking about philosophy and soaking up content till I became a firm feminist and pro-homosexuality,
talented people on the internet do not intimidate me, they don't make me fell small.
because we all know the internet can be a little fake and these people are older than me and they live OUTSIDE of India,
they have better education, loving families, millions of opportunities.
they don't have Asian parents trying to mold them into that doctor shaped cavity, if you are a girl
or an engineer shaped one, if you are boy.
they have that thing called "creative freedom" and a concept of "acceptance"
so it's pointless comparing myself to that physics major who just got her book published and plays the guitar now and then.

SEE. how intricately your sly mind works?
carefully picking out parts of a whole that appeal to you to boast you, fading the rest, pushing it farther into the background.

Age 16, I attend my first MUN.
And reality slaps into the face like a tide powerful enough to break the rocks on my shorelines.
I am shook and everything I've known to be true melts, burning the lies I'd fed myself.
soon enough I start noticing,
the boy in class who just recorded his first short film, the teacher who was funnier than any of the stand up comedians I've watched online,
the beautiful souls, the passionate ones, impressing the world with their stellar wit and their relentless disposition to be better.
that was the first I felt alive, the first time I knew I was home.
there were no opportunities, there was no room for special,
they were products of tough love and I'd slackened,
I'd made excuses, its definitely my surroundings, the crowd, my family, this country, greatness is not born here.

But, here's the thing, greatness is not born, its made, its presented,
greatness cannot be stifled, its cultivated from long nights and aching backs (if that is what works for you) and a determination to create something beautiful

little girl, no matter who loves you, no matter who fails to.
you will always have to teach yourself to love you,
to appreciate you, there is a distinctness about you that only you must see.
you might try to place yourself on a pedestal too soon
you will try to protect yourself from the prejudices,
build up high walls around your garden but, let the world hit you sometimes, let it surprise you, astound you,
let yourself be vulnerable,

open your heart to the people sitting in the cafes,
who've come there to listen to the stories you created and when you experience real human connection, when you are seen,
you will know what special is.

This poem is about: 
My country


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