I hear people around me

I can’t see them yet

I would be able to see them once I am born though

I am inside my mother right now

I already love her

She talks to me every now and then

Softly, sweetly, she even shares her dreams with me

Her smiles, her laughter, her heartbeats, I can feel them all.

Sometimes she places her hand on herself,

Tries to touch me, reach out to me

I feel restless

I think it’s time now

There are so many faces around me

I heard someone say I am a girl

My mother is happy to see me

With tears of happiness trickling down her cheeks,

She now embraces me with love

I see dreams in her eyes and as my tiny fingers grasped her hands,

She gave me a name.

My parents love me a lot

I can walk now

I like running around

I like playing hide and seek

But I feel my mother’s gaze searching for me whenever I go out of her sight

My mom says not to venture out too far

So I play around my house

I now go to a school, study in a class and even made some friends

I like my school

I am a big girl now

Time just flies with school and all the play

Mom sat me down and spoke to me today

She explained to me something about menstruation

She says it’s when blood comes out of me without me being hurt

She says it’s normal

Every woman has it

She even gifted me my first brassier

I felt so special.

I am a teenager now

I feel 24 hours are not enough for a day with so much to do

I love to play outside

I go for cycling and running and swimming

I have a lot of friends

I notice something new these days

People look at me in a weird way

They don’t look at my face

They look below, they look at my breasts

Mom says breasts are a part of every girl

Why do people look at me like that?

I don’t go out to play every day now

I don’t like people staring at me

I feel conscious of my own body, I feel like hiding my own self.

I see some changes in me

Boys have started paying more attention to me

I like growing up

But I miss playing every day

The other day I went shopping with mumma

Someone pinched me from behind

I turned to see but couldn’t because of the crowd

I asked my mother why would anyone do that?

She says its because some people think bad things when they see a girl

She asked me to be more careful

Now I know the difference between good touch and bad touch.

I am afraid to go to the market alone

I don’t like crowded places

I feel people poking their elbows in my chest and brushing their hands over my behind

I don’t like going out all by myself

I am crossing a road now

Someone pulled my scarf away

Why did they do that?

I asked my mother again

She says not all the people in the world are good

I don’t take secluded routes

I don’t stay out till late with my friends.

I miss running

The running tracks are not safe in the mornings

I want to go camping

But I read in the news that’s not safe either

I am a grown woman now

My freedom has boundaries

Can I call it freedom?

I can’t wear shorts or skirts and go out

I cannot just go out for a walk not thinking of the time

I see people staring, passing remarks

I feel being judged, I feel I have to prove my skills at every step just to get accepted

Every morning I stand in front of my cupboard and stare at all the things I cannot wear

I miss being a part of my mother

I miss my small safe world with her

I miss being safe no matter what

I have to fight my way through

That’s what momma says

And fighting I am

For the rest of the days