Speaking Punjabi means you’re illiterate

Speaking Punjabi means you’re illiterate
so I started speaking English

Pakistanis are extremists
so I became American

Muslims are terrorists
so I converted to atheism

Brown is such an ugly color
so I lightened my skin

You throw like a girl
so I wanted to be a boy

Women are weak and emotional
so I begged for the XY chromosome

No one will marry you with that body
so I starved myself

Your clothes are weird
so I switched to jeans and t-shirts

Writing isn’t a career
so I studied a subject I hated

You smell like curry
so I drenched myself in perfumes

 You’re an outcast
so I did everything I could to fit in

 I altered my presence
I erased my essence

I did everything I could to satisfy a world that only wanted to squeeze my uniqueness out of me, but in the process of forcing to change myself I broke a pious soul. In what I was and what was expected of me. I’ve lost myself. Tell me what I am and what I’m supposed to be? These mental health issues, you complain of are the result of your own creation. I’ve been ripped from myself that now I’m joining together my pieces with someone else’s story.

I’m trying to dig back into my roots, but I can’t seem to do that. It’s like everything I once left is now leaving me. I yanked myself out of the earth so hard that now the soil I was born in does not recognize me.

I’ve become a product of someone else’s desire. An object of someone else’s wanting. Tell me what am I?

Poetry book: CURING MY VENOM

70 thoughts on “Speaking Punjabi means you’re illiterate

  1. This brought me to tears… even more so because it is so true.
    I hope you and your husband are still doing okay…

    Liked by 5 people

  2. The way you’ve moulded yourself according to society’s expectations and demands, the same way or, maybe with more will you can become your authentic self.

    No one should take away the real YOU from you. God has made each one of us unique, with a purpose. Don’t go against it. Believe in yourself and let the world aspire to be like you Rinum.

    Thank you for sharing such an amazing post. Made me think of how I’ve also tried to blindly follow what others demand.

    slowly we will all outgrow and shine a light.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks John! I’m still trying to figure out where I stand… I’m too American for my Pakistani pals and too Pakistani for my American pals… Don’t know where to draw the line sometimes!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True! Urdu is my native language and I’ve learned Punjabi too… just need to accept the fact that I should be proud of my heritage and traditions!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s so beautifully written that I got so emotional while reading it. I think most of us have experienced this at some point or the other in our journey till now and it is despondent that we have to go through all this ,even if we try to stand someone or the other will be there, to push you down and in that process we loose treasured
    peices of ourself.
    Very well written.πŸ‘πŸ‘

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Don’t be too hard on yourself; be strong at the broken places as the world has a way of breaking anyone.


  4. What a wonderful poem, I loved it, as it illustrates very clearly a great problem in today’s western society and those you who have to try and conform and fit in. I hope that things are going better for you, and creating wonderful art like this that can help so many others can help you find your place and voice in this society. I think this is a really good poem, that needs to find as wide an audience as possible, so I am going to share it and reblog it. Best wishes and blessings, Charles.


  5. this is so well written. The self created rules of a set of people are not what define us. Punjabi is our Mother. Rich and spiritual. I too learnt in life that one may learn a hundred languages, but one doesn’t abandon one’s Mother. May all blessings come your way. A very well written post


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