Poem – Advice for a Daughter in India

(Disclaimer: this is not about my mother saying these things to me. She is the supportive force behind who I am today. But she did grow up hearing these things from adults in her life. The poem below is a translation of my original poem written in Gujarati – http://bit.ly/2n7MQli )
My mother would say
As only an Indian mother would
You need to prepare for life
And learn all the things that a woman should

3 generations

3 generations (Photo credit: Frederic Poirot)

For one day when you come of age
My daughter, you shall be led to be wed
A daughter’s duty as that of a cow
Is to follow dutifully where she is led


When you go to “your” home
For a daughter is but another’s treasure
We are only her keepers temporarily
You must brighten your home and bring pleasure


Make someone a good wife and become
A good “Bahu”, or a wife of the household
Dutifully obey your mother-in-law
Be flexible and bend to her mold


As they say, “darkness never falls on a home”
Where a daughter-in-law rises before dawn
Sleep last, but rise first, my dear daughter,
Before the clucking of the cocks welcoming the morn


Be an obedient daughter-in-law and a good mother
A mother who knows how to train a good daughter
Should you have the ill fortune of having a daughter
For the fortunate ones bear sons, my dear daughter.


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