I am all of it.

I am dented by life; I am forever changed by the experiences I have had. I have been shaped as I have lived, for I have embraced life. The lessons learned were sometimes not learned, and so the learning of them was harder; my self was moulded, over and over; my heart was broken and rebuilt; my soul was shattered and reborn.

I am painted; how could I be the woman I was born to be and not be painted? I have crimson lips, and eyes outlined in black; I dress in clothes that flatter my feminine curves; I walk on shoes that are sometimes not comfortable, but that add an elegance to my strut. I leave a scent of perfume in my wake, and my hair is soft, wavy, and curled at the edges.

I am Indian; I was born here in this country that I have never quite belonged to; India is mine but I am somehow never India’s. I am so non-traditional and non-conformist; I am a daughter of this beautiful but baffling sub-continent that I sometimes both love and hate.

I am a woman.

I am a dented, painted, Indian woman. But I have a voice; I will not go quietly into the night.

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