‘He looks like you,’ whispered my grandmother, 
When the nurse handed me to my father. 
A tear escaped his eyes in joy,
When he learnt, I was a boy.

He played with me every day,
‘Love you loads, son,’ he would say.
But things changed when I turned eight,
My identity, my father began to hate. 

For I loved dressing like a girl,
Frocks and thick tresses with many a curl.
He hurled abuses now and then,
Wrath, my mother had to bear it yet again. 

I trembled like a leaf and cried, 
And, often, looked out for a place to hide.
Am I not a part of you, my birth giver?
Questions, I raised, clutching a frame of my father. 

I wanted him to stand by my side,
And truly wished I was his pride.
But alas, I now wish in the womb I had died,
At least I wouldn’t have faced these hateful eyes.


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Sheela Iyer
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