So I was walking down with my eleven year old cousin the other day,
His hand resting restlessly in mine, fingers entangled together in the hot month of May...
He asks a million questions in a matter of seconds,
Anna api, How do cars go?
Anna api, Why can't dogs fly?
Anna api, What do propellers do?
Anna api, Why is there no brown in the sky?
He asks, Anna api, Anna api, Anna api... He asks as if his brain is shooting out questions to which he is sure I know the right answers!
I smile and try to answer every question as best as I can!
I say it's because the engines make them go,
I say its because they have no wings,
I say they help the ships move,
I say it's because brown is absorbed by the moisture in the sky,
I say yes, no, yes, maybe, I don't know, don't think about that, no one knows,
He is satisfied and we both laugh!
His questions get harder to answer and I try to act a little smarter than what I actually am,
If I brush a query away, he makes up his own answers and falls into the pit of confused slam!
One day, he asked me the women in the tv wear so much makeup,
I answered, because they want to look pretty.
He asked, so were they not made pretty?
And I say, ofcourse they were, they just want to enhance the beauty!
He asked why don't boys wear makeup?
And the answer got stuck in my throat because I think even he knows that a marketable facade is only expected of a woman in our society,
The men can roam about as they will and want in every party!
Instead, I tell him, because there are some things that distinguish men and women from each other,
I ask him if he can wear a dress like me? He says no!
I say this is like that too so...
He is satisfied...
But I cannot erase the claw marks that question left in my mind,
I hope he doesn't realize that Anna Api is willing to lie to him,
That I am more human than I am Wikipedia,
That I am too scared to let him know the price of being a woman in this world!
I know he will forget about this because his questions change everyday,
But I fear the day he will grow up to make women define as 'pretty' and men as 'strong' in every way...
He asks me why I am not allowed to sit in the car alone with his driver,
I tell him it's because I like it when he is with me so we can travel together...
But he doesn't know that the women of my house don't let me go alone,
Because a boy, even as small as him, will provide me a privilege that I don't really own!
He looks at me with a quirky smirk and i smile at him with my whole heart,
Trying to mask my cover, my facade, because this too is an art!
I aim to protect him from the spiky realities of the world,
Until I become for him, the anna api who speaks crazy non-understandables words!!!