Sum Total

One Indian woman

Plus

a feminist

Minus

a fair, homely, beautiful eligible girl

Plus

determined and strong opinionated

Minus

tall, slim and a slender figure

Plus

independent and a critical-thinker

Minus

traditional, cultured, well-mannered and modest

Plus

anti-patriarchal and anti-misogyny

Minus

submissive, docile, adjusting home-maker

Plus

fearless and honest

Minus

faithful and God-fearing

Plus

rational and practical

Minus

a “abla naari”

Divided by

nothing

Multiplied by

a strong desire to fight back and live

sums me up.

P.S. This post has been inspired from a film by Sonali. Original title of the film is “Sum Total. A Matrimonial” . Sonali is an activist and filmmaker who has made several films including Sum Total and Barefeet.

Disclaimer: This poem has also been published on Women’s Web and The Alternative.