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Poem: A boon she sought!

Oh beloved son!
I, your mother, have something to ask
Carrying you in my womb was no easy task
I ask not for the sun or the moon
I, your mother, seek a simple boon

Don’t tell your father who you really are
Your aunt shouldn’t know whom you long for
Hide from your uncle that you have a man in your life
Let your brother-in-law not know, your in-laws are not from a wife

I don’t want the world to find out my son is queer
I can’t deal with the ridicule, hate and fear
Don’t put your father through this ordeal by fire
It took all of our lives and struggles to reach here

Oh, beloved son!
I, your mother, have something to ask
Carrying you in my womb was no easy task
I ask not for the sun or the moon
A dutiful son will not deny a mother her boon

But, oh mother!
Even Kaikeyi’s boon was only for fourteen years exile
But what you ask of me is a lifetime of lies so vile!

Transcreated from the Tamil original by the author with input from Kinsey3 and Tilak.

This post is also available in: தமிழ் (Tamil)


6 Comments. Add your own »

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    1. Ahh, no, you don’t owe it. Can you owe your life to another? Does someone who ask that of you, do they truly love you in the way you deserve to be loved? What is divine if it’s not Love? And how can we hide the divine?

      So how can you owe your life to another? It would be to chain the divine to something fearful and distorted, to be ashamed of that which is so beautiful.

      Our Love is what we give, not our subservience. And it is a far greater gift than they asked for, and perhaps than they are ready to receive.

  1. This is absolutely beautiful Shri. Indian parents have this notion of boon. It affects me too sadly and I have been strategising getting around it and talking to them.
    I have mentioned this to you before. My sister is a big fan of your writing and I am sure she is going to love this as much as I do.

  2. In the movie “The Wedding Banquet” by Ang Lee (a must-see if you haven’t already), when the parents find out separately that their son is gay, each of them tells him fervently not to reveal this information to the other parent because they feel that the other parent “may not be able to stand the shock” or whatever. So, both parents end up tortured with this information all by themselves without even being able to share it with their spouse to lessen their own burden.

    This beautiful passage from Kahlil Gibran (“The Prophet”) says it all:

    On Children:

    Your children are not your children.
    They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
    They come through you but not from you,
    And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
    You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
    For they have their own thoughts.
    You may house their bodies but not their souls,
    For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
    You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
    For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
    You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
    The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
    Let your bending in the Archer’s hand be for gladness;
    For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

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