If I should have a daughter

By Priyanjana Das

If I should have a daughter,

I would probably be sitting under the moonlight making a list of strong women that I would want to tell her stories about.
I would carve their names on the well polished wood of her crib and let her trace her fingers upon them; make sure she feels strength lingering her skin.
I would let her snuggle in bed with stories about  warrior princesses, maybe, twist his-story a little, make my own and serve them over the regularities of sunny side up eggs and pancakes.
If I should have a daughter,
I would probably be terrified of the possibilities that she would be aware of by the time she learns to write her own name and begin to like a film-star.
By now I would have led her to the point where she can tell a microscope and a telescope apart while dancing on stars, atoms and amoebas;
By now I would have led her to believe that the specks of dust hovering under the sunlight are like parts of her getting to know the beauty she was becoming.
By now I would have made her an unstoppable force with soft brown eyes and a firm handshake; stepping into a hard hitting, gut wrenching, excruciatingly painful yet tirelessly wondrous life.
If I should have a daughter,
I would probably be cautious with my words,
Now that she has grown into her first heartbreak (the one in which chocolates and tubs of ice cream did not suffice)
Now that people have started noticing the curves of her form, her skinny legs, her darker skin tone and her quiet demeanour.
Now that people have stepped in on her crib and scratched the very essence of her childhood.
I would tell her to not step in a cab with unknown people, not travel alone, not wear ripped jeans, not jump on the couch, sit like a lady, dance only when other women are dancing, not drink, watch out for anything peculiar about what she drinks, behave, breathe quieter, be calmer,
live a little less.
I would probably take everything away from her- everything the world around her decided was a part of life- everything except for her voice.
She would sing, doodle, make people laugh
She would be kinder to herself,
She would empathise, befriend,
She would apologise;
But never for the woman I raised her to be.

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