#InternationalDayForTheEliminationOfRacialDiscrimination – It Is A Team Game.

IT IS A TEAM GAME

Nobody notices the pigtails

on the side of the gate.

The red ribbon untied and dirty

Barefoot and evidently in hiding

Her eyes round with curiosity

Her parents are on their way back

When they realise their daughter

Who should have stayed in the kitchen?

Instead, is ‘hiding’ behind the gate

Watching her brothers getting dropped

As soon as she sees her father’s eyebrow creasing

She anticipates the barking orders

And flees before he will scream

By the time they are home

She has made her best attempt at breakfast

Luring them to forgive

For the next day too

She will peer through the gate

Nobody will notice the pigtails

For it was a world of boys

And she will never be noticed.

 

The boy’s world of school

She notices isn’t charming either

During lunch

She sees her brothers sitting at the feet

Of their other classmates

‘caste’ her ma had said

‘we can’t be bothered with it,

If we do, they will kick the boys out.

They need to adjust if they want to learn’

‘what if they lie about their caste’

The girl asks

‘don’t be foolish, look at your brothers

And their dark and dirty skin colour.

Their caste is printed on their skin’

 

She looks at herself in the mirror

Sometime ago she wished

Had she been a boy,

She might have studied.

But today tracing her dark skin,

And feeling her pigtails

she thinks ‘I’d never be enough’

 

children shouldn’t think beyond

curiosity, friends, classwork and fun

instead, nowadays children look at themselves

in the mirror and anticipate the hate

they might get from the society

 

the world might not grow up

but the children will.

They will think beyond.

Beyond the so called ‘problems’

That society makes them think about

The children will grow up to

Accept each other and learn

For if they separated based on caste and colour

They’d never have enough team players to play

 

Nandhitha Babuji is a 18-year-old aspiring poet from Tamil Nadu, passionate about using her words to show solidarity against children’s issues.

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