My Daughter

I am so fortunate to have a daughter,

Who fills my days with laughter.

But every day as I see her growing,

I am filled with dread and foreboding.

For what kind of world I have brought her in?

Is this the place I want her to live in?

I tell her not to speak to strangers

I tell her not to trust uncles and neighbours.

I teach her to always doubt everyone

I pray every moment she’ll be hurt by no one.

I teach her about good touch, bad touch

And never ever to reveal too much.

Don’t look any one in the eye

Don’t you aim for the sky.

Work hard and be dependent

Don’t go out without a male attendant.

Keep your feet on the ground

Hold your tongue with elders around.

No short dresses, I dictate

No ever going out on a date.
No boy friends, no affairs

No heartbreaks, lead a life that’s bare
No making out ever with any knave

Must be a virgin, till marital rape.

Learn to bear your every pain

For crying out loud will be a shame.

There will be no one beside your bed

To hold a compress to your forehead.

Never demand, always give

And give, till there is nothing left to give.

No harsh words, no voicing your opinion

Rather it would be better if you have no opinion.

This list is not exhaustible by any stretch, my dear

I’ll keep adding nos and donts as my eyes clear

For they are filled with unshed tears

And this heart is squeezed with unsaid fears

I curse myself for bringing this curse upon you

Oh darling! It’s your misfortune to be born as you!

I regret deeply that this all must be told

Life as a woman is fraught with dangers and miseries untold.

49 thoughts on “My Daughter

    1. You write staight from ur heart
      And we can relate so well with the feelings
      God couldnt b there in a physical form so he made mothers
      But the truth is mothers can’t b with d daughters always do we leave it to god to take care of our loved ones always
      Yes we need to guide our children so they dont burn their fingers
      Love u bless u

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mothers are there but so are men and most of them would not like girls to have any kind of freedom

        Like

    2. I was actually reflecting on all the restrictions we place on daughters. Hate to think our daughters ever have to go through this.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Punam what you have said is so true……. today’s world where we live in , we spend 80% of our time in giving lessons to our kids and whatever is left goes in other worldly affairs then where is the pleasure quotient for poor kids………

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I feel blessed that I have always been encouraged to be a strong woman and to speak my mind. I was taught if I see something wrong happening, don’t just stand by and watch. This is not to say that my life as a woman has thus far gone without challenges and having to defend my rights, but I’m blessed that growing up in the US has protected me to some degree as a woman with rights. My heart breaks knowing that there are women facing such horrible injustices, just because they were born a woman, not a man. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sigh… it’s terrible that we have to prepare children this way for the world around can be a jungle. If only all humans were treated equally and fairly, without having to worry about emotional and physical violence.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t have a daughter and it’s probably not possible for me to have one, but reading this makes me think about all the fears I have of being a mother. I always wonder what could I teach my child and will it be enough to prepare them for this world we live in. The thought of something happening to them scares me and that feeling of feeling helpless and not being able to save them from all the dangers of the world cripples my desire to have a child one day. I can only imagine how scary it is to be a parent and love a child so deeply that you would do anything to keep them safe. This is beyond beautiful, Punam.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In this one I allowed my fears to hold centrestage! I wouldn’t like this to ever colour your views about motherhood. Bringing up a child has so much to do with instinct and letting them be and of course being a good role model. Yes, the thought of something happening to them is scary but becoming a parent is so empowering! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and for your appreciation. ❤️🙏🏼

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Punam, mother to mother, I understand the heart wrenching, soul aching fears for the safety of my daughter. I know how that kind of love can turn a gentle woman, a mother, into the wildest, most ferocious kind of animal. There are so many fine lines we walk between protection and allowing growth, and independence. I’m looking forward to reading the next poems…. ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was in some sort of pessimistic mood when I wrote this! But it is still close to my heart for these fears are very real. As mothers we do walk a very fine line, my friend. Thank you so much for understanding. ❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think art desire to wrap our children up and protect them from the world vs that for them to be independent and make their own mistakes is a balancing act. Parenting is a minefield! ❤️❤️

        Liked by 1 person

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