A WOMAN’S ALPHABET
A is for Adam,
God’s supreme creation, the boon/bane of my existence, it’s difficult to decide.
B is for Brassieres and Breasts,
2 mounds of flesh that entice Adam, hold him in fascination,
And a scrap of cloth that frees you or binds as per inclination.
C is for Cunt,
Not only a body part but also a synonym, a slur or abuse, sometimes used in the middle of an
D is for Doll,
The toy meant for me, a likeness of everything I should aspire to be, docile and dumb, without an
E is for Eggs,
Not chicken eggs, but the ones responsible for the continuation of the human race, frozen fertilized
as per convenience.
F is for Feminists,
These sisters of mine, trying to chart a path in a place strewn with land mines.
G is for Girl Child,
The beginning of me often called Lakshmi, yet unwanted as the plague, aborted at will or
sometimes buried alive.
H is for Hot,
The supreme accolade bestowed on us, a benchmark of attractiveness that causes the quickening of
I is for Independence,
That the country attained in 1947, and we are yet to achieve.
J is for Juggle,
A quality that describes how we live our lives, switching between mother-daughter wife, attending a
board meeting and a parent-teacher meeting both at the same time.
K is for Kilogram,
The watchword in our lives, dreaded and directly proportional to our happiness scale.
L is for Lipstick,
A wardrobe essential, armour and quite often it’s colour, an assessment of my character.
M is for Marriage,
My ultimate achievement. Scientist, Astronaut, Doctor, Engineer, all degrees immaterial if I am not a
N is for Nirbhaya,
A badge given to me posthumously, for dying after being raped, butchered like even an animal
O is for the O word,
Never to be mentioned like Voldemort’s name, its existence a fallacy, a state we women rarely gain.
P is for Periods,
Red bleeding, barred from temples, holy ceremonies, impure and yet existential.
Q is for Queen,
Fierce, pretty, the warrior in each of us.
R is for Rape,
The Armageddon of life, a warning to behave that hangs on my head, it doesn’t matter if I am
a toddler wearing nappies or a granny in diapers. It’s always my fault, mine alone, for being born the
S is for Slut,
The name I am called, if my skirt is too short or lipstick too bright.
T is for Tears,
An outlet some say for heartfelt emotions, or a weapon often labelled unfair, inextricably linked with
me and my tribe.
U is for Uterus,
It’s where I bear a child, it makes me a woman, different from Adam and his pride.
V is for Virginity,
That Kohinoor of jewels, guarded, coveted, grabbed, worshipped, protected, looted asunder.
W is for Waist,
The smaller the better, 24 is ideal. Corsets, tummy tuckers proof that this mindset exists.
X and Y are for chromosomes,
That separate Adam and Eve, a random arrangement that defines who we will be.
Z is for Zip,
That holds my dress and dignity, it keeps my mouth shut and prevents uttering opinions lethal to
This is the alphabet that I have learnt right through the ages,
And now I am trying to unlearn.