• Marías at Sampaguitas

Creative Non-Fiction by Shreyaa Tandel

TW: mention of physical and emotional abuse, mental torture’s mention.


The journey of a norm


Tadpoles turning into eggs. Eggs turning into chicks. Fertilisation of a cell into an entire human being are few of somethings that has always done rounds in our fascination. But there are things that take birth within and without of us, knowingly and unknowingly which too have the cycles of birth and death. But there’s this thing that certainly hardly ever dies, because it fluctuates itself that much. And that one thing is norm. It exists in the now like it’s of today while it has been existing since time unknown, it’s fixation, it’s existence and implementation have been different and difficult but it has established itself from time to time being it’s loyal adherent and servant.


One such norm that we see, and we see like it is non existence is the hetero-patriarchal dominance that’s been doing more foul than good. Now this statement raises the Whys and the Hows. And we need not see anywhere but begin with our family, society, and community. Because charity begins at home, hence the call outs too should begin from within.


Growing up I saw men being entitled to women because that was norm. I saw women being seen as lesser beings and believed myself to be unequal with my guy friends and playmates because it was norm. It was norm for me to learn cooking while I was 9 while my 12 year old brother is not only less bothered about it, but also is spoon fed with his errands still. I hope it’s not over sharing but I’ve seen men be entitled over women’s careers, be and feel they’re entitled to hurt or abuse them emotionally and physically because they’re related to them. And in return of which there’s constant health depletion of women done, there’s mental torture and tormenting behaviour. And what are women supposed to do ? Stay silent. Serve men. Not let these things be talked about outside the four walls for it will be dishonour. Why so? because of a norm.


And because of the same norm I with high doubts and a little anxiety am sharing this, because somewhere, somehow and sometime, someone has to call the wrongs out and call them what they’re. We have to speak against, regardless of anybody listening or not because its the only right thing to do. Apologising to it and being silent is never a solution. And yes, maybe, maybe I am saying this from a very privileged point of view. And I understand the silence that exists, especially because we live in a system that is structured against us more than for us. Maybe that’s why wherever and whenever we step out of our houses we’re unsafe. And all of this is a norm.


Where did it exactly begin this norm and the many subtypes and other types of it which are harming the society, no one knows. And everyone acts like they don’t know what to do about it, and hence like head-less chickens they move and the norm eats us away slowly in front of our own eyes without actually being seen.




Shreyaa Tandel is a self-established poet, or you can say amateur poet, from India. Her poems "Inadvertently Alive", "Virgin" and "Blackhole" have been published in the blue pages lit, and vamp cat magazine respectively. When she isn't writing or is glued in front of a computer/cell phone screen, she spends time singing north Indian classical music and reading the Bhagwad Gita and pretending very hard to be happy, even though she isn't. You can reach her at shreyaatandel1526@gmail.com.

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