How many knots have I untied, how many remain?

Ajeet Kaur Randhawa T.Y. Electrical

Anklets for the feet, bangles for the arms,

necklace around the neck, rings and toe rings,

My nose and ear were pierced,

and with each ornament,

I found myself all the more restrained with

ropes of customs and mannerisms, oh the

ways in which I have been chained.

Now my hands and feet have begun to

develop scratches, and so many bruises

have surfaced

Since I started untying the knots and freed

myself of so many ropes

Every part of my body, my facial features, my

talks, and mannerisms were observed

My voice was admired by comparing it to that

of the cuckoo bird, to some my hair is like that

of a serpent.

to some, it’s like the night, to others my hair is

like the clouds, my lips like the rose, my eyes

as intoxicating as alcohol

And in this way, I have been caged in different

songs and poetry of beauty and love,

oh the ways in which I have been chained.

I would like to ask those who saw my eyes,

they found them intoxicating like alcohol, but

didn’t they see the sky in them

They see monsoon clouds in my eyes, didn’t

they see the pain, the pain that comes from

being tied down

They compare my lips to roses but don’t they

see the thorns attached to it, the thorns

disabling me to speak my mind.

In the name of this lightly woven cloth called

art, bare statues were carved out,

thread by thread I was unclothed,

On my body, art was practiced and in the

name of art, I was imprisoned in marble

Can someone please tell me, how many knots

did I untie, how many still remain?