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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Edited by: Mohan Rajagopal


When the stars come out to dance, please go hide under the bed,
I pray the monster under your bed saves you from the darkness instead.

I tug my full-sleeved shirt, pick up my phone and prepare to leave for the terrace. 
“Where are you going at this hour?” Amma’s voice is as clear as the sky that I would get to see in a few minutes.
“Appa’s not home today,” she frowns and looks at my 10-year-old younger brother who is already dreaming of cycling with his friends tomorrow. 
“Just for ten minutes, Ma,” I plead. A loud horn from a late truck blares, fissuring through the air between Ma and me. 
“No. It’s not safe.” 
“But Ma, give me five minutes.”
“There are no street lights on today.” Ma has already sat down at her desk to complete her office report. 
“But Ma, that’s exactly why I need to go. The darker it is, the brighter I can see the stars. Besides, the terrace is on the top of our house, not on the road,” I grumble. Ma doesn’t reply.


When you walk down the alley, turn thrice and look behind you,
I pray you don’t find the ghost you dream of or evil from someone you knew.

They say you should not be afraid to understand the gravity of the situation. They say you should not be afraid but you should run away any moment. They say you should not be afraid to stay vigilant. I think we are all afraid of being terrified the moment the street lights go out and your home is miles away. I think we are all afraid of being weak the minute there is a jeering laugh. I think we are all afraid of being hunted for the body that has been ours since the beginning.


When you wear your clothes, let it be an armour,
I pray you don’t find yourself in a battle for the metal you harbour.

They say what you wear is how you want to be perceived. They say your clothes are your second skin so decorate it the way you will. They say your shoulders and legs covered in this second skin are ammunition. I think they forgot that if what we wear is our second skin, then we are still without protection. I think they forgot that if clothes are armour, then we have to be safe and sound now. I think they forgot that armour doesn’t stop the invasion once it has already begun. 


When you walk and eyes judge everything, hold your head high,
I pray you don’t trip and fall as prey when you’re so close to flying away.

They say it is difficult when you ask for equality in a patriarchal court where women are silenced. They say it is difficult whenever you’re termed sensitive when people can’t accept that you’re more attuned. They say it is difficult whenever you have to work twice as hard for people to look at you for your worth and not because you’re a woman. I think they believe that demand for equality and feminism are unrelated when both are the same coin tarnished during different times. I think they believe that empathy debilitates them when that’s what makes us human. I think they believe that double standards for success will stop us from striving for the same quality.


When you speak up that one day, don’t hide behind words,
I pray you have comrades to hold and utter truth even if it burns all known worlds.

We say we deserve the same opportunities as men without constantly being questioned about our worth. We say we deserve to be allowed to raise our voices when we are invaded without consent. We say we deserve to be acknowledged for our successes even if it means breaking the oppressed norms. We say feminism is equality and not hating men but hating and breaking the sexist and stereotypical rules. We say we deserve to speak our mind without fear of reprimand. We say we deserve to choose our clothes to be armour or just another outfit. We say we deserve to cry, rage, stay calm, smile and feel everything else without scrutiny. 

We say we deserve to breathe without being choked by unreasonable constraints. 

We say we deserve to be able to see the stars, the galaxy, the entire universe without having to look over our shoulder every minute.

We say we deserve to narrate, to write, to create as a woman without it being the one word defining us.

Harshini Dhiyaa is a Physics Major in dependent relationship with poetry. She can be found daydreaming fake scenarios and has a penchant for getting too excited whenever there is a plot twist in anything.