My Internal Conflicts in a Conservative Family Setting

The poem is a sneak peek inside the heart of a young Indian girl belonging to a conservatively modern family, who studied social science at the London School of Economics and now struggles to keep up with the beliefs and expectations of her family – but loves them deeply.


I study about agency and voice
But at least they gave me a chance to educate myself.

We discuss about solutions to crimes against women, in our class
But at least they let me wear things that are respectful

I debate my classmates about feminism
But at least I have the chance to make my career in a year.

I discuss my passion to fight for human rights
But at least I have the luxury of having a ‘practical’ career outside home.

I study about identity and representations
But at least I get to have some say about who I want to marry within our religion.

I share articles about menstruation myths
But at least I can interact with my father when I am on my period.

I talk about the right to free speech
But at least I am able to secretly write about what bothers me

I listen to podcasts about finding your purpose in life
But at least having kids is already on top of the chart

I fantasise about sharing life with an understanding partner
But at least he will be able to give me everything I need – economically

I want to travel the world alone
But at least I can do that when I have a partner

I share my desire to study more
But at least I can do that, if my in-laws give me the permission

I want to express my opinions and be heard
But at least I can do that and be laughed at

I tear up see my sister go through the same
But at least she has it slightly better then me, as they say

I do not want to feel guilty for feeling this way
For at least I have loving parents, no?

I just want to have a simple happy life
But at least I am a good daughter, no?

Yashi Jain is a 22-year-old masters student in Development in Media at the London School of Economics.

Featured image credit: Unsplash