“Rebel” by Maya Khandelwal

I was not a rebel
I was a good obedient girl
until when I came to understand
I was treated inferior to my brother by my granny
who would snatch the toy from my hand
to appease my brother’s self- esteem…

I was not a rebel
until when I grew up enough to note
my dad return home drunk
press an insistent finger on the door- bell at one or two at night
and stand barely upright on his own..

his feet went rickety
were drowned in mud with blood oozing too…

my blood ran in agitated twirls
when he forcefully hugged Mom right in front of me…
unmindful of the foul smell he discharged

when she was thrashed on showing repulsion,
was called by dirty names.

I screamed like a rebel though my heart throbbed like a drum…

his bloodshot eyes and dirty breaths touched me like venomous serpents…

I became a rebel then.

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