Taxing a Woman

About Shilpi Das

"Witch, scholar, poet, dreamer, and the rest..."
Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Shilpi Das is currently doing her doctoral research on Gender Question in Nationalist Art and Literature : Indian context. She is a lover of art, music and literature. She is passionate about writing for she feels that writing has an emancipatory power.

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Taxing a Woman
When taxation is in the air
I am here to pour out my heart
And I don’t bother if you don’t lend me your ear.
I outright declare,
Sorry! this may discommode the men present here,
There is a tax that is being levied on women.
I know not exactly when this taxation system was initiated
Perhaps it dates back when she decided not to remain caged in any longer and,
Perforate the iron curtain and step out of her home into the world.
Women, who have a mind and a brain of her own,
Women, who want to execute her life on her own terms and conditions,
Must pay a tax!
Tax for being too deep a thinker,
Tax for being too determined a dreamer,
Tax for being shamelessly independent,
Man loves courting an intellectual and sophisticated woman
whose only purpose is to trigger his outrageous flaunts and,
be by his side when he is going through the nadir of his life.
In his eyes, an argumentative woman, who loves opining her views, and posing questions
and are too inquisitive to know about the home and the world her spouse belongs to,
Runs the highest risk of fading out his male halo.
A self-made woman is ought to be excommunicated and mortified.
They are a taboo in the marital bond.
When she builds an identity of her own that has nothing to do with him
The insecurity within him grudges and torments him
And the inferiority complex and the fragile ego
camouflages behind his intellectually rich dialogues and,
He initiates the process of killing her with kindness.
And then when it boils down to marriage,
She becomes the setting sun,
Never to rise again in his domestic sky.
He is ready for the dawn of his life and
gets betrothed to a woman who is fair and lovely,
who dreams through his eyes,
thinks through his brain and,
feels through his heart,
who extinguishes the fire within her,
for the sake of standing by the culinary fire and feed his hunger.
He talked of women autonomy,
He asked her erstwhile woman to dream and never to stop.
When she started dreaming and flying higher
He chopped off her wings or stole away her nest
On returning to which she found a lady attired in her bridal dress settled in her own nest.
If not in this mundane world but somewhere in the Utopia,
Dear men, get rid of your insecurity and stop being bossy,
Open your arms wide, for in her you will find an entire sky.


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