Age has little to do with the mettle of your talent. The spark of creativity burns brightly in each one of us even before we realize its existence. Uncommon poet Parineet Kaur Chowdhury is one such example.
I chanced upon her spoken word poetry performance at an inter-school competition, and what she had to say and the way she said it, left a deep impact on her audience. It was one of those moments when you know, you have seen the sheer brilliance in action.
When asked about her inspiration in dealing with the topic so differently, she said, ‘I wanted to explore the topic ‘Reservation of seats’ as much as possible. Reservation is something we all face in various spheres of life, the only difference being that we don’t realize how we are bound by the shackles of society. This inspired me to take this perspective on the topic and bring forward the reservation of different genders to certain gender roles.’
So The Uncommon Box caught up with her and here is her incredible interpretation of the theme ‘Reservation of Seats’.
RESERVATION OF SEATS
It was Christmas. I was six. I sat next to a boy, my best friend you know. All eyes were on me, aunties and uncles giggling “Aw, they look so cute together.”
It is Christmas. I am sixteen. I am sitting next to a boy, my best friend you know. All eyes were on me again. This time aunties and uncles giggling with disgust at how shameless can I be. The seat I sat on was a “No Entry Zone”.
Someone came up to me, glared at me, and then i got up. Unable to understand how my six-year-old self-was different from now. Of course. Someone pointed out to me that I grew. My body grew. My beauty grew. And my reservation grew.
My brother, fifteen, announced that he wanted to take Science. There were celebrations all over. My parents said that they were proud and happy that he was finally thinking about himself. Suppressed, he wished he could add a home before science. We have seats reserved for every individual, every gender, every age group, and every human being.
You’re a girl. Be polite. “You go first. Girls lets be nice.” We are born to do this; we are born to be reserved.
Every time I say I don’t feel like other girls do. I am not what you see me. I am not a girl. “SHHHH” my mom says “if I knew you weren’t straight, I would have never had you; “How could I not be afraid to be wrong, how could I not be afraid to be reserved.’
This job is reserved for those who are pretty. Air hostesses you know. This job is reserved for men. Taxi drivers you know. This job is reserved for women, homemakers you know. A reservation has been so deeply engraved in our hearts that we fail to realise that this isn’t survival of the fittest; this is survival of the reserved.
You’re a man. Being insecure doesn’t suit you. Oh, look at how he loses his manliness with every drop of saline water dripping out of his eyes, cause expressing emotions is reserved for women, cause being strong is reserved for men, cause we are ladies before human beings and gentlemen before homo sapiens. Cause we are reserved before we are born and reserved after death.
My wife is going to give birth to a boy, and I like a good father will buy all blue toys and cars and machines and bat balls and video games and…reservation. You have already created reservation, he is not even born. “Well, he is my son. He will listen to me.”
We are the daughters of the men who tell us to watch out for the news, the number of missing girls, the sharp edges of the world, they beg us to be safe, to be protected. And then, tell our brothers to go out and play.
We are reserved into our little nutshell, unable to escape into this big, wide world.
Let me tell you. The more seats you reserve for me, the more seats will I create for myself. The more you reserve me in hierarchy, society and boundaries, the more will I break through.
Here is the voice of a young India- vibrant, strong, and assertive and definitely, not hesitant to say it like it is. When Creativity joins forces with Reality, the results can be astounding. The poem interprets the theme of reservation as the seeds of prejudice in a much larger context.
We wish this young poet a fantastic future in the world of writing.
About the poet:
Parineet Kaur Chowdhury is currently a 11th standard of a reputed school in Kolkata. She actively participates in debate, elocution, drama and slam poetry competitions. Other than that, she enjoys reading books and writing poetry.
Parineet says, ‘Writing is something which helps me express my emotions and explore my capabilities. Slam poetry especially, is the best way to help me spread my ideas and thoughts to the maximum number of audience.
Writing is the most powerful weapon of change and I deeply feel that as the youth, the responsibility to bring about a change lies upon us because it is ultimately us who will grow up to be the pillars of society. Thus, I took to writing as a means to expressing and spreading my ideas and thoughts.’
Banner Credits : VENDULA K.
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