I am a Boy

In all the cities in modern times, have
births and death rates inclined.
I was born in this ridiculous time,
as for being special – I was just fine.

I was born in the evening
of a crisp winter day.
With some folks looking down, smiling,
while I cried and bawled away.

I was told by everyone since then –
That I was born to take care of them all,
when I couldn’t even speak,
it was demanded that I stand tall.

When I learned to walk,
it was celebrated by all.
And I was asked to carry,
heavy books every winter, summer & fall.

It was for my own good,
that’s what I was told.
Because I have to be prepared
for a world so ruthless & bold.

I ran and played outside,
various games with other boys.
And when I came back inside,
I had video games and toys.

When I fell down and was hurt,
I wanted to cry from the pain –
so new on my fragile skin,
“Don’t be such a girl”, they said and so I was trained.

When I grew up a little more,
and had my heart broken for the very first time,
it was other kind of pain that I felt,
in this fragile heart of mine.

I wanted to yell and cry even then,
to unburden myself of this lament.
But people said to shut up & lie.
To BE A MAN, and “Men don’t cry”!

I married and had a home,
and silently I worked –
to provide for my parents & wife,
unappreciated, every day from then – in my life.

When I toiled through the day,
bearing insults & remarks that were snide,
I came home eventually,
to listen to more demands & about women’s rights.

I found myself once watching funeral rites,
stoically I stood my ground with other men.
While the dear one was lost,
and all the women cried.

We were told that men are heartless,
because women can but men don’t cry.
And we listen, smile and nod,
and again go to work in order to provide –
all the while smiling yet crying a river inside.

“Women’s life is difficult” or so it’s said,
and I do not dispute that one bit.
But I also wish to say about what above is said –
it’s also not so easy – to be a MAN instead.

And that is my life,
from the day I am born.
I am asked to be brave, sensitive, witty even coy,
because the world reasons – I am a boy.

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