I don’t remember when adulthood came knocking on the door. I was busy decorating my dreams in my diary, leather bound little old thing.

When suddenly responsibilities became so heavy. When it was everyone else’s wishes and expectations against mine.

A caged bird. A kite kept in the corner of a dusty shelf.  Toys boxed up in the attic.

Childhood left and I didn’t even wave it goodbye. 

When suddenly freedom became more restricting than freeing. 

When idealism was shattered by realism, living in a society which is scared of its own laws and protectors. 

Izzat, maan-mariyada, tehzeeb became the only lessons I would learn. 

Graduation certificates became marriage licences.

When degrees became magnets to attract potential husbands. 

When we became defined by stereotypes, putting us all in neat little boxes to go through life the same way our ancestors did.

Prisoner of time or past? 

I didn’t wish for this. 

None of us did.

Artwork by Sandra Cumplido


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