I see in the tall buildings the world wears, a dystopia rising out of the smoke and fog to reach for the sky. I see in the tall buildings the world wears, a permeating coldness filling the spaces between one another.

The world sees in the saree I wear, a certification for marriageability. The world sees in the saree I wear, an invitation for a matrimonial melee. How do I tell them what I see in the saree that I wear?

A 9-year old playing with her mother’s make-up and jewellery. I see a 9-year old draping a bedspread around her puny waist in vain, standing before a mirror, aping her mother’s practised motions. A 24-year old thinking if she would ever wear a saree as elegantly as the woman who birthed her. I see a 24-year old musing if, draped in the nine yards of silk, she would look at least a fraction like her mother, the person she knows to be the most beautiful on earth and in Neverland.

I don’t tell the world anything at all. The world tells me a fair few things. It has taken me a fair few years to transcend the opinions of a world I do not care for nor belong to. I do as I want. I want as I do, as I live, as I breathe, as I exist. It seems unnecessary to explain or conform.

Ma