I’d taken a bit of break from studying (exam tomorrow) and logged into Facebook and my friend messaged me there asking me why I wasn’t studying when I had an exam tomorrow. He was all “why aren’t you studying! you should go! go back to studying!” and given the immense amount of stress piled up on me because of these exams I snapped and told him that I’d take care of my studying by myself and didn’t need him to worry all that much. We aren’t even close: he only texts me once a month or two. The only thing he said to that was something like this: (translated) “oh dear, if you talk like that, who’d ever marry you!” Now it might sound like a very strange thing to say. But honestly everyone says that. Everyone. Anyone who is like four or five years older and above have said that to me at least once. I know I’m venting and it sounds really boring because that’s all I ever do here, but oh my god, these people won’t stop saying that. What’s marriage got to anything to do with anything?! They aren’t even joking or something like that. It’s like I have to be this perfect woman not for myself but for the man I’m going to marry. “Oh you can’t cook? Who’s going to marry you!” “Oh you can’t sew nicely? Who’s going to marry you!” “Oh you don’t wear makeup? Who’s going to marry you!” “Oh you don’t know how to wear saris? You don’t know how to butter up men? Don’t like fish? Who’s going to marry you!” Well, not fucking you, that’s for sure! It’s like I exist only to please the man I’m going to marry and his family. Everything I’m learning to do, cooking, wearing clothes, education, fucking walking and talking, is simply for him. Someone whom I haven’t even met, someone whom I don’t even want to fucking meet. I am a fucking human being, not a wife! I wasn’t born to be a wife or a mother or a daughter-in-law! I was born to be fucking me, a living breathing human being!
I’m sorry for talking like that. So I’m going to post a poem here. It’s titled “Prayer Before Birth” written by Louis Macneice. I’m studying this very poem for the exam tomorrow.
Prayer Before Birth
by Louis Macneice
I am not yet born; O hear me.
Let not the bloodsucking bat or the rat or the stoat or the
club-footed ghoul come near me.
I am not yet born, console me.
I fear that the human race may with tall walls wall me,
with strong drugs dope me, with wise lies lure me,
on black racks rack me, in blood-baths roll me.
I am not yet born; provide me
With water to dandle me, grass to grow for me, trees to talk
to me, sky to sing to me, birds and a white light
in the back of my mind to guide me.
I am not yet born; forgive me
For the sins that in me the world shall commit, my words
when they speak me, my thoughts when they think me,
my treason engendered by traitors beyond me,
my life when they murder by means of my
hands, my death when they live me.
I am not yet born; rehearse me
In the parts I must play and the cues I must take when
old men lecture me, bureaucrats hector me, mountains
frown at me, lovers laugh at me, the white
waves call me to folly and the desert calls
me to doom and the beggar refuses
my gift and my children curse me.
I am not yet born; O hear me,
Let not the man who is beast or who thinks he is God
come near me.
I am not yet born; O fill me
With strength against those who would freeze my
humanity, would dragoon me into a lethal automaton,
would make me a cog in a machine, a thing with
one face, a thing, and against all those
who would dissipate my entirety, would
blow me like thistledown hither and
thither or hither and thither
like water held in the
hands would spill me.
Let them not make me a stone and let them not spill me.
Otherwise kill me.