My heartfelt thanks to Cafe Dissensus journal and the editors Mosarrap Hossain Khan and Bhaswati Ghosh for publishing my personal essay ‘Caged’. More than an essay, I would like to call it an ode to the concept of femininity in prose, inspired by Jamaica Kincaid’s narrative style in her bold, gritty nonfiction piece, ‘Girl’. It is my privilege to share my thoughts and writing as a monthly column writer for this wonderful online literary platform. This piece appeared as my monthly column there on September, 2014.
Sharing an excerpt from the opening section of the piece:
“The caged bird sings with fearful trill
Of the things unknown, but longed for still
And his tune is heard on the distant hill
For the caged bird sings of freedom.
…But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
His shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
His wings are clipped and his feet are tied
So he opens his throat to sing….”
(Maya Angelou: I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings)
You were probably right. Being born a girl, I should have felt the warning rattle at the door. I should have heard the noisy presence of heavy feet stomping the old cement floors. I should have braced myself for invaders taking direction, seeping through the damp, concrete walls. Being born a girl, my mind was quiescent and tame. I had sunrise, I had hope. I was simmering in my pretty looking prison. I was simmering in arrogance and expectation.”
Do read the rest of the essay here and leave your valued comments: