It was a calm, windless morning,
The sun rays gently broke through the window.
I woke to a chorus of birds
Singing sweetly outside.
Some were foraging for food,
While another flock of birds were flying in unison.
Soaring high above in the sky
Is perhaps so liberating, isn’t it?
I yearn for this freedom that
My feathered friends have.
But, I feel like a Parakeet who’s caged in,
The steel bars of the cage are rusted
By the corrosive norms that you set for me.
You corrode me, my identity.
But as they say,
Even the birds are chained to the sky;
But is it the sky, the river or the mountain
Which trammels me?
Rather it is you and your intangible shackles
That put me in the enclosure!
It’s not the nature,
But the humans who entrap others
For not fitting in their artificial cage.
You humans built this cage
Using suffocating mesh sheets,
Which are secured by
Hammering iron nails into the wood,
That carries the weight of your prejudices.
You coop me up there
And feed me a diet comprising of
Unasked judgements and labels
Notions of what I should and shouldn’t be,
Feelings of insecurity, low self-esteem, self-doubt,
Stereotypes, hatred and discrimination–
Everything to satisfy your hunger
For dictating my life
Through your narrow lens.
Who are you to own me like a master?
I don’t fit in this cage that you made,
I never did and I never will.
Because you are no one
To dismantle my self identity!
Namrata Kalita, an undergraduate student at University of Delhi, hails from Assam. Having her works published from her school days in various regional newspapers and national magazines, she now works as a correspondent in DU Beat, India’s largest student-run newspaper. She is often found gazing at the sky, finding metaphors and muse in its changing shades.
Featured image: viktor Andersson/Unsplash