I was barely even,
From Northern India,my mum's little one,
A child bride,
My husband's family rules I had to abide.
Godnas (tattoos) were mandatory for married women,
So several days after the wedding
An elderly lady came to brand me alone,
Her tool, a needle,she would heat with fire,
Burn my skin and fill with colour pigment on and on she would not tire,
No anaesthetic to numb the pain,
No cream to heal the skin.
I had several tattoos,
Subjugated without any ados.
Now, my daughter is a different version,
She is a rebellion,
Refused to have the tattoos done,
I supported her and she won.
Rural Indian women of certain tribes had to be tattooed. It was compulsory or they would be treated as impure.