A smile that makes me adorable
A smile that defines my personality
indispensable from my self identity
Was imprisoned for many years
In the dungeon of social norms.
The “Sanskaar” what was injected
To become an ideal woman
Debarred my lips and heart
Not to smile in open spirits
My smile was lost in the social structure
Where my caste man will build his family
I will not have my own existence
And have to give a fake smile
When they feel it is required.
The photo shoot was going on earlier
My lips were closed
Witnessing my submission
To a subjugated system
Where a smiling face is a danger to “Ijjat”
And heartfelt laughing
Defines my character.
I was like standing in the parade class
Where smile does not come under discipline
And my photo shoot for many years
Was a pretending diary
Where nothing was true.
In front of clicking sound
If u are asked not to smile
The situation must be so ghast
With great cultural values
Stings me really
How the nightmare got passed.
When I tried to smile
Going against their intent
Before the camera
People were saying
With this open jaw
you don’t look good
And i absolutely feel
living a life without smile
Surviving sans food.
And now I know my self
While trying constant to introspect me
Loosing my smile is loosing the self
What actually defines me.
Now a days my each photo shoot
Sees my teeth, makes me beautiful
And this is the wonderful gem
What I really own for me.
The credit of my smile goes to many
Who have struggled hard to give
This smiling life
Buddha taught the humanitarian path
The emancipation of mind and body
The searching of truth
To have a heart of compassion
Behind all agony
The struggle of Jotiba and Savitri
To make accessible a paper and a pen
Where we will rewrite our history
And reimagine our future
Against all oppression
How come I forget
The sacrifices made by Ramai
Now nourishing my concepts
Babasaheb gave the idea to cultivate one’s mind
Keeping in the pivot
Liberty, equality and fraternity
With stressing upon
Moral, love and beauty.
Since they were concealed before
And I was forced to live a life without smile
a system called brahminical patriarchy
Fabricated a web of cultural normativity
where me and
My smile were struggling.
— Poem by Mamata Sahu