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Look at me,
I am a teenager.
I have moved from India to USA.
Trust me as easy as its said in seven words
There is a whole novel’s worth of emotions
Masked behind these veil of words
Leaving behind almost a decade’s worth of memories
Yes, I was born here
Yes, I have started school
Yes, the difference in societies is clear
And questioning my English is uncool.
People ask me, “How do you speak English so well?”
But they never ask if I myself am well.
And if they did, could I tell them
The turmoil of thoughts troubling my head?
I am expected to be grateful for the opportunity
To live in “your” community
I am expected to be hardworking
And soft spoken while you’re smirking.
I am expected to mould happily into the American tapestry
When I’m actually having a crisis of identity
Too American in India and too Indian in America.
At least I can fake the American accent
But for how long do I invent a sense of affinity?
You may ask why I did move here.
Well, my parents would say
“It was for her education
That we came to this nation
With a notion of benefaction.”
When in reality we were all escaping evil
Which had manifested in many modes
I know we all have our luggage and baggage to heave about
But I think we could handle it better
If there weren’t such great expectations all around
To adhere to with blind eyes and fetters.
I am expected to stretch around difficulties
Like a rubber band squashed into a tube.
Always score As and nineties
Always strive to improve
Always be polite and show devotion
Never show outright your emotions.
We’ve all seen depression
He’s an old friend of mine
He stands and laughs in mockery
At my efforts to keep the balance in line.
Just a few nudges here and there
Is all it takes to unalign
The precious equilibrium we’ve all established
At that fragile state of mind.
Sometimes our voices aren’t heard
Sometimes its ignored
But in the end we’re all expected
To soar towards the same goals
Expectations don’t end here
Cause they expand beyond this horizon
They stretch towards the social sphere
Be pretty, thin and shed no tear
Or risk being isolated by peers
Why do the worst decisions seem so delectable?
Or do they creep when we are most vulnerable?
Call them whatever you want
Anxiety, ignorance, instability, stress
They are all like Miss Havisham but a different dress.
But I am fierce enough to break past this
I will stretch till the maximum extent
I will keep away from bad temptation
Like the cold heart of Estella.
I will endure all that needs to be endured
Like the matured man Pip
I will conquer my way through this world obscure
To show them the real expectations I answer to
The great expectations of mine and only my own.