She wanted…

She wanted...
by Saheli Khastagir
She wanted to sing,
          to dance,
          to live!
She wanted to read,
          to learn,
          to teach!
She wanted to run,
          to laugh,
          to play!
She wanted
to plant a spine
in her mother’s back,
and a volume moderator
in her powdered neck.
She wanted
to tell her brother
not to smoke so much.
and that sometimes...
you have to press the brakes
even in those races
he likes so much.
To her sister
she wanted to beg
not to fight so much.
that the world
is not a battleground.
and that sometimes...
doesn't hurt that much.
To her grandfather,
she wanted to sneak out
an extra ‘luchi’
that he loves so much.
To her grandmother,
she couldn’t give that much;
shining through her clouds
she never told her
of all those glitters
she wanted so much.
Her father,
she wanted
not to fear so much.
to look at him in the eye,
and not have her legs shake so much.
in the hand-me-down saree
that her mother handed down to her,
she wanted to be seen,
          to be remembered,
          to be looked up at!
She wanted to be talked to
            not talked at!
like those round pebbles at the shore
beaten smooth
by the dozen waves
washing over them everyday
without a backward glance!
what she really wanted
A girl!
She wanted a girl.
and she wanted a girl
that wasn’t like her too much.
She prayed,
her God.
and so...
he gave her Me!
He gave her a daughter
that wasn't like her too much.
He gave her a daughter
that she didn't understand that much...

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