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© Arshi Baveja


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He is the verb without which

every action is incomplete, and he

is the subject-verb agreement that

you have to get correct even if

you have to cheat.

And I think you won't be exaggerating

if you say he is the noun,

the pronoun, the conjunction,

the preposition, and that he is the whole damn

sentence you speak

or the words that you bite inside your cheek.


She is the pauses in between

allowing you to breathe, and

also, the silence that you find in a library.

Oops! I got the wrong metaphor, kitchen. Silence in the kitchen, obviously.

You don't really have to speak while cooking, now, do you?



He is the English prose,

which talked about rats, and rats

always remind you of race,

and it talked about lemons, but

this isn't the lemon- spoon race

that you participated in at the age of 11.

This race is set in a mine, in which

everyone participates without knowing

or asking, and

if there is a blast and your brother dies,

you're not allowed to cry,

you'll just have to keep running now

beyond the finish line.


She is the first rhyme that you

learnt by heart, and the first

piece of poetry that you wrote

but never had the guts to

give it to your first crush

and instead you were asked by

your mother to tell it to your

doll, cause that definitely

made more sense

and of course it did, don't you see

at least you had the chance

of getting a smile in return, no matter

what you say, or overall how shit you be.


She is the red stain which, by the way,

is your sole identity, more like a birth mark

which takes shape on your pants magically

after 12 years of your existence,

and it might be the only

identification in the world

that you have to hide.

Now people are naturally averse to the things

that they don't 'understand' even if

they were taught in the biology class in

10th standard, which I am sure again, they

magically passed, and still make it a reason

for ludicrous bans.


And no points for guessing that he

is the scar that you got while playing football or baseball society match,

and after getting hurt,

you obviously went to watch

the next day's match.

How could you not? That is the most

eventful, I mean, manliest thing during the day,

or I guess now

showing off your scar and the

story behind it beats the match any day.


These pronouns, I mean

genders are not just

about me,

cause these are my words

and my usage of pronouns

in my things that

I think I am or that is what something

I am made to believe at least.


Between he and she,

and she and he, what is the

difference, really?

Literally, one letter.

Then between him and her?

two letters now.

Between his and hers,

three letters max.

But practically? Worlds apart.

Difference in freedom, duties,


dignity, position,


hell even

control over their own body.


So going by these lines,

I just said,

I figured, I am a she,

because I am currently bleeding,

and that I have

two dolls next to my pillow who don't

eat my head off, and

I am a he because I love

playing football not just in dreams

and that I won the best speaker

award in my debating team.


Now, understandably, I am thoroughly confused

by the societal pronouns

thrust upon me and

the words and thoughts

that I seek.



Anyway, long poem short,

for yourself,

tomorrow morning

when you see

yourself in the mirror,

at first what you will see

is your reflection,

but take a moment, and

close your eyes.


And I hope that you are

thoroughly confused and

satisfied with what you see.


gender inequality english language pronouns stereotypes he and she

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