• Under the Raintree Festival

'It’s My Body and Not Your Temple' by Sharmila Maitra

My dear Society

You care so much for me,

Is it me or you that knows and decides what’s best,

Often that is, my dubiety.

Sure. It is just my mind and my body.

But the members of this elite league decide,

How to perceive it, ‘mould it’ and ‘make it right.’

‘Dearly beloved’, over-enthusiastic aunts and uncles,

And the ever-excited vigilantes of the clan,

To you all- I say, that it is I, who decide my life’s plan.

It is I- who decide, whether to love or not,

Or to seek pleasure by myself or through partners of sorts.

If I choose-

To love casually, for one night, for a few months or even hours.

I won’t regret ‘doing it’, in between the sheets or in the showers.

I would enjoy and embrace every moment of that lusty leisure,

Because, hey its my body and it has the right to pleasure.

If I choose-

To be a lover, a fiancée, and a wife.

I will be the architect of my happy and blissful life.

I will bask in the affection of my dear one,

And ‘making love’, would be that rare union of passion and fun.

My person will be my rock, my partner but not my boss,

For I will never let my independence and individuality go for a toss.

And lastly-

If I choose to be on my own,

It is okay, dear Society,

You don’t really have to mourn.

For it is my happy choice to be alone.

Oh, dear Society, try to understand-

This one simple fact and follow.

It is my body and not your temple,

Which you would like to see painted yellow.

I am a woman; this is who I am

Free, uncontrolled and undefined.

I know no boundaries, no limits, no fear.

I lust shamelessly, love selflessly, care endlessly and fight tirelessly.

At times, fragile I am, but my soul is unbroken.

So, never try to dominate me or restrain,

Because I am force when unleashed, cannot be contained.

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