Published: | Australia

The Good Tamil Girl

A short poem that describes the pressures and expectations of being a 'Good Tamil Girl'.
Polite, graceful
Considerate, Respectful
The sweet,
Always smiling,
Good Tamil girl,
Is what I was brought up to be,
And it’s what most (if not all) parents want.
 
Tamil parents make a lot of sacrifices,
Stay at home Tamil mums,
Give up their identity, their careers,
And live their life for their children,
Tamil dads on the other hand,
Work long tedious hours,
Put down strict rules,
On what his daughter can or cannot wear,
On where she can or cannot go,
On what she can or cannot do,
So that their Good Tamil Girl,
Remains good.
 
Life for a Good Tamil Girl is simple,
Just like the classic y=mx + c equation,
Good life = good grades plus and a good job,
Tamil parents even offer,
To take on the responsibility,
Of finding a life partner for their daughter,
So that she doesn’t have to go through,
The traumatic heart breaks,
The sting of a breakup,
Or the agonising pain,
Caused by cheating boyfriends.
 
Falling in love,
Is more or less,
Forbidden,
Just so that,
Their Good Tamil Girl,
Remains good.
 
But most Good Tamil Girls have,
The longing to break free of the shackles,
That they have been forcefully tied to,
They have the desire to fall in love,
Madly and truly with someone,
They want ultimate freedom,
To wear what they want,
To go where they want,
To say what they want.
 
But freedom,
For most Good Tami l Girls,
Comes at high cost,
The ruining of their family’s reputation,
The questioning of their upbringing,
The frowns and stares,
Of aunties and uncles,
And the hushed gossip that,
Silently poisons the family. 
 
Because of all this,
Most Good Tamil Girls,
Have no choice but to be,
Polite, graceful
Considerate, Respectful
The sweet,
Always smiling,
Good Tamil girl.

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