‘The World Is in Your Fingertip’

“The world is in your fingertip,” my mom says,
while oiling and plaiting my hair
into double braids,
yanking each side to keep
me grounded, ultimately to buried
in the mounds of a “sweet, kind, silent kid
who dares not open her mouth”.
Ah! How some conditioning
traces its origin in you–
I can’t raise my decibels for justice
they echo within me, ringing my failures
within me.

“The world is in your fingertip,” my father says,
when he flips my life like his scrapbook
labelling my best and worst moments
in a polaroid photo.
One will admire the way
he sprinkles sweet nothings into my ear,
manoeuvring me in the way he expects
“his daughter to go and be”.
He switches off the air conditioner
when he thinks it’s the end of the day,
tells me how to talk
and how I should dress–
as if I’m nothing more than a project work
one has to finesse.

“The world is in your fingertip,” my brother says,
when he “doesn’t try to tell me what to do”.
But according to him, it doesn’t really suit me
either to proclaim my sexuality
nor raise my voice
to reclaiming my self-hood.
I think for men, a women’s silence
is their beautiful rhapsody on violins–
the minute she’s aware
of her rights and oppression
their threat calls an ambulance:
a medi(c)ated violence.

“The world is in your fingertip,” says my grandma.
She has never seen the world
even the smidgens she’s exposed to
she wishes them upon me.
I fall on her feet and
she blesses me: “dheergasumangali bhava
When I rise up
I wonder if I can ever rise up
I’m always othered,
a daughter, a sister, a wife
(hoping I’d never be one)
I’m never “me”
nobody asks for my world
and I don’t say it to anyone
maybe I don’t have one

is the day
my world is
in my fingertip.
I get a say.
I get to choose.
I chose.
Even if I’m a
microcosmic entity,
my choice matters.
Today my world
is in my fingertip–
the purple ink
marks my blazing
I will grasp my
world in my hands,
allowing it to breathe
and today I
promised myself –
once I gain my wings
once it’s time to rip
apart ties and fly,
I decide where to go
what to do
and who to be.
It’s amazing
how the power to vote
helps you to
choose your voice
and define who you are.
This is my vote to be myself–
one day at a time

Vidya Rajagopalan is a 20 -year-old literature student who is passionate about poetry.

Featured image credit: Vidya Rajagopalan