Anaemia

Dr Shivangi Shankar,

MBBS MPH

First semester(CSMCH, JNU 2023)

Anaemia is an heirloom

passed on from mother to daughter

Like shame.

Like the shame in meals filling

Like the shame in the burp of a woman, full

Like the shame in needing to eat more

Like the shame in needing

while being a woman.

Anaemia is an heirloom

passed on from mother to daughter

Like taboos.

Like the taboo of bleeding

Like the taboo of feeling pain while bleeding

Like the taboo of complaining

of pain and bleeding

while still a woman.

Anaemia is an heirloom

passed on from mother to daughter

Like complexion

.Like complexion, where pallor is the closest you can get to fairness

if you were meant to be brown

Like complexion, where pallor is not a cause for alarm but brownness,

brownness gives you a complex

Like complexion, a complex entity deciding the inflow of love, food, respect, rights

while still being a woman.

Anaemia is an heirloom

passed on from mother to daughter

Like the norm,

Like the norm that is “living with it”

Like the norm that is “women are meant to suffer”

Like the norm that is “women are easily tired”

Like the norm that is “women are high maintenance” while choking their very sustenance

since they are women.

Anaemia is an heirloom

passed on from mother to daughter

Like motherhood itself.

Like motherhood, sustaining a life despite itself

Like motherhood, draining her life.

Like motherhood, glorifying sacrifice

Like motherhood, wondering if it’s wise

for a woman to complain, for isn’t it default

to be weak and in pain, penitence for the faults

of ancestors, for the fault

of being women.

Anaemia is an heirloom

Passed on from mother to daughter

Like hatred

Like the hatred for herself and her kind, conditioned

Like the hatred making her keep herself last

Like the hatred draining her blood of nourishment

Like the intense hatred feeding on her rightful heritage of love, life and care

Until all that she has to give is deficiency.

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