How to be a Modern Indian Girl : A primer

Be someone 
And someone’s wife

Be nice 
And let them know
That you aren't too naive

Be pure 
In heart , and fragrant
Be open
But not openly

Be yourself
And make sure
That self is a damsel in distress

Waiting for the prince 
Never saying that you are 
Until he actually 
comes along 
Then you could just say it
In a whisper

And be gone

Be happy
And make sure 
everyone knows
Be sad 
And tell no one

God , love and kindness 
Are fallen words 
In Darwin's world

Whisper them at night
In the day, 
Walk as if you believe in might

You aren't poor
Despair isn't for you
Look at the happy quotes 
On the new shiny screen 
Aren't you privileged,
You un poor , urban queen.

Work mindlessly
And without joy
But talk 
Only of your dreams

Dreams of going away
Meanwhile, postpone the dream
For financial prudence 
Is key
Come what may

Hate your parents
In therapy
But lay awake 
Worrying that
You have failed them 
Don't reach out 
Or ask
Or lend a hand 
As they grow old
Just churn 
That your life isn't what 
You were told

Remember you need friends
For check ins and snaps
For go juice, perhaps

But when things dark
Remember helplessness is real
They are not

Money is 0s and 1s
And doesn't add up

Don't save
It's never going to be enough

Be productive
Be real
Be the go getter
Be calm
And slow 
And vegan eater

Be the west 
And the east
Be what your mother wasn't
And don't want kids

Be coy and sexy
In the same breath
Know your math
And magic
Without breaking into a sweat

Be west
Be east 
Be night and day

Be a sweetheart 
And a feminist

And you may
Think me petty

But whatever you are or aren't
You have to be fair skinned 
And pretty.

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