I Didn't Grow Up Properly

by Jayanta Oinam

I didn’t grow up properly
I had numerous infatuations, and they slapped me
For every slogan I shouted
They said, I disturbed their agenda, and they slapped me
For who I was?

The first age, I was obsessed with guns
The tender age of seven eight nine, I didn’t know
How they all went, smoked, with billows from the barrels
And somebody hid his second hand gun beneath my pillow
And I thought I deserve a try, whichever direction it fires
The sound was bustling and the next morning
I had my first slap in the face.

Mama wanted me to behave and grow tall
The gunshot was forgotten and I became a darling
And my grandpa called me Gandhi, he said
I obey and can write difficult names for invitation
For marriage and obituaries,
Spellings of names I couldn’t pronounce, and
Nonnative spellings of words from occupation

Then, my first long pant came uninvited
Something tickled me, I was a lousy connoisseur
Wanted to taste the bud, flowers and nectar
Bees and buzzes, thus I got my second slap

I didn’t know the reason.
And I know, I didn’t grow up properly
But happy was me, with all the slaps
They said, I deserve them, for the following
To be a good man, one day, to live a good man!

Anyway, I was growing that very way, for that way
But a single slap, I couldn’t agree with, and
The chilled morning, the chilled bone
The expensive fare, the back bench
The tuition, the examination
The dream, my parents
And the slap
This is loose
But the slap was the humiliation
It mortified my being and the dreams gone sour
But I still don’t understand why he slapped me
Early in the morning,

To a boy who was going for few lessons
On Physics and Chemistry;
I still don’t know who was he and he was waiting for me
Early in the morning
I still don’t know had he got any kid of my age
Going to school and waking up early for an extra class
I still don’t know, how many he would have slapped
I still don’t know, had they all went kept quiet
Like me for all these years

I still don’t know, how many kids deserve the slap
Yes, I didn't grow up properly
In the land of million mutinies,
My land, my land
Spare those kids
They are innocent
They are dreams, and
Someday, they will sing songs for you and your valour
But, for every single slap, my land
You lose a son, you wreak a dream
With every slap, you destroy a family
With every slap, you create an outlaw
So, spare those kids
They are innocent.

Yes, I didn’t grow up properly
In my land, and today
I am in exile, weaving a dream for a land
Earning a few pennies, to grow a farm
Full of innocent dreams and
Create a my own land

Where kids can wake up early and go to school
Without any fear of slaps and checking drills
Where kids can learn lessons on best of sciences and poems
Without worrying about strikes and bandhs!

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