Pardon me, Pardon Me Not…: A poem by Amrita Mallik


From the sheepish ‘I beg your pardon’,
To the confident, ‘Pardon? I can’t hear you’,
The journey has been long and exhilarating,
But, no doubt, rewarding and liberating.

Begging forgiveness, the hallucinating drug,
Injected right from birth, especially when you’re a girl,
Seeking validation from all, lest you become an outcast,
And, thus, others’ flaws, you should blindly ignore.

Years wasted, happiness lost,
Strictly adhering to the dictates,
Refusing none and fearing punishment,
Despite abhorrence, catechization only in mind.

Like the dawn piercing the dark sky,
So came the enlightenment through exposure,
And, introspection became the paddle,
Rowing me to peace and bliss.

Orthodox and alluring filters crushed,
Now I choose and deliberately cold-shoulder,
Approval should come from me first,
And, now, none can unsettle my poise,
A rainbow transforming the gloomy sky.