Bacha Posh

At one her father and mother locked eyes

The birth of a girl brought dread to their lives

A parental love, too strong to watch ache

Emerging through doors, a babe in blue awake.
At five she dodged, running left to right

The ball at her heels and shorts on her thighs

With no need to fret, no scarf masked her hair

Gliding through dust, unaware of their stares.
At eleven she’s clad in trousers, shirt and hat

She was thrown, she lay still, while her brothers stood and spat

“Bacha Posh! Bacha Posh!”, they taunted and stared

“Bacha Posh?”, she muttered and picked up the glares.
At sixteen she covered and stood before mirrors

For now, with no choice, she stared at her figure

Her bosoms, her hips, her hair was not snipped

Unable to run as her life had now flipped.
At thirty she cradles her child to her breast

She walks to the corner where locked lays a chest

She opens the hatch, she lifts up a hat

“Bacha Posh”, she looks down and covers the plait.

 

by Deepti Mukherjee

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