Let me grow into myself

Written for the Sunday Mini-Challenge on Imaginary Garden With Real Toads

For this week's challenge, Grace (aka Heaven) asked us to write a 14-line poem using food imagery to express our feelings.

This being school exam season in India, I dedicate this to children who bear the load of their parents' expectations and imposed dreams.



I'm growing still, ripening daily
Your seeds have borne their fruit in me
Luscious ideas flow like juice through my veins
My dreams are golden, fresh and syrupy

Bite into me and you'll be surprised
By my taste, my crunch, the colour of my inside
They may not be the same as yours
Or what you expect, or what you decide

They are mine, whether bitter or sweet
And even if our tastes don't meet
I hope you'll let me grow into myself
Not the fruit you want me to be

Let me be a square apple, with blue peel and green offshoot
Don't mould me to your dreams, into perfect glass fruit



31 comments:

  1. I like this poem, Mixi. Parenting definitely is not easy, but hopefully a good parent does nurture what is inside each child so that he / she can become the person he/she is meant to be and not the one the parent wishes him/her to become. Well written.

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    1. Thank you so much Mary. In my country particularly, the pressure to perform is unbelievable. Everyone wants their kid to be an engineer or a doctor. It scares me to think of the kind of inept and disinterested designers and healers we're producing!

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  2. wise words for all parents - I really like the last two lines.

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    1. Welcome to my blog Robyn! Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts :)

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  3. I like the different meaning of "fruit", letting it bear itself, without too much tampering from the "gardeners" ~ As a parent, I am guilty of this, putting my expectations on my children ~ But I have learned to listen and compromise, and now both my kids and I negotiate on the best course of action ~ Thanks for the wonderful response ~

    Wishing you Happy Sunday ~

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    1. Though pruning may be required from time to time, on the whole I feel it is best to let the fruit grow on its own :)

      Thank you for sharing your experience with me Heaven :)

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  4. Wnderful!! Great message for the parents, Mixi!! Well penned.

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    1. Thank you Ma'am and congrats on the BATOM!

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  5. I like how you used the metaphors in this piece. A poignant message and fun images :)

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    1. Thank you Poet Laundry. I actually saw the images before I wrote the poem, so they actually inspired me to pen these verses.

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  6. Hyālō ! (namastē)

    I really loved the development here: growth, self-value, chastisement and the final image of "perfect glass fruit" as the final illustration of the perversion of treating some as an abstract expectation of some stifling ideal.

    Your rhyme: AxAA, AxAA, AxAA, BB is delicious -- matching well the content of this poem -- with that final punch. Is there a name for that rhyme pattern?

    Your poem feels infused with the wisdom that has been lived by the poet. Your parents, your kids or just that general Bengali milieu?


    Suggestions/thoughts:

    3rd line, don't use "juice twice", if you are going to liken, repeating is unneeded, let our minds do that. "Sweet, luscious ideas flow like juice through our veins."

    6th line: "colour of my inside" -- the rhythm felt off. maybe something like "By my taste, my crunch, and the color inside". Not sure if that works either, though.

    Thanx for visiting my blog. Some folks don't because I write comments like this. Hope you value it in some way though.

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  7. Thank you so much Sabio! Your points are absolutely valid and will add to the poem. I'll try some rewriting to make the composition better. Don't know why your genuine consideration would be taken otherwise, but seems like you've encounterd some resistance :P

    I'm glad you enjoyed the poem. The rhyming pattern doesn't have a name as far as I know, but then again I'm not well-versed, pardon the pun, with poetry writing styles.

    You're always welcome to visit my blog and share your valuable feedback!

    Oh, and I'm not Bengali, though I live in Bengal :-)

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  8. This is lovely poem with very good message! Wonderfully written Mixi! :)

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    1. Thanks Valli.. good to see you here after a long time :)

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  9. Great, glad it was well taken.

    I see you write a lot of prose -- my guess is that prose writers are far less sensitive than poetry writers.

    So, you are a tease: You are not Bengali, but ......?

    Also, in your profile you mention two expression I didn't recognize so I looked them up. I can see that they are meant to be clear signals to any Indian Blogger:

    (1) "A Stephanian":
    Are you referring to St. Stephen's College in Dehli? It is ranked one of the top colleges in India -- I find several articles decrying the school as elitist and even some saying they are proud of their elitism.

    So your poem seems and ironic voice to what you boast of in your profile. Am I mistaken about the irony?

    (2) "an IITian":

    Again, a university you graduated from I imagine: the Indian Institute of Technology (Delhi). Are you working as an Engineer?

    I've always found it odd how people identify with the colleges from which they graduate. In your comment you wrote: "In my country particularly, the pressure to perform is unbelievable. Everyone wants their kid to be an engineer or a doctor. It scares me to think of the kind of inept and disinterested designers and healers we're producing!"

    Well, I wonder if this sort of college elitism and identity thing feeds such thinking. Do you think you re-enforce it inadvertently?

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    1. I'm actually surprised you took the time to look up so much about me. Not sure whether to be flattered or a bit scared :P

      Stephanians and IITians are both very wide but surprisingly closeknit communities. Across batches, we share similar values, and have a natural affinity towards each other. This has little to do with self-assumed elitism and more to do with the people who study/studied at St.Stephen's Delhi, or any of the IITs (there are more than one). We are not elite, only exclusive by virtue of our education. This is true of most established universities the world over.

      I am not an engineer. I was lucky enough to have parents who left me and my sister to our own devices. We both ended up pursuing widely different paths that led to very satisfying academic experiences for us both :-)

      Looking from your point of view, I suppose it might seem ironic that I decry the tendency of parents to push their kids into an IIT when I myself am a proud alumna. I was fortunate to have studied there because I wanted to and not because I was made to against my wishes or my ability. I have nothing against a child who wants to study, but I do take issue with a guardian forcing a kid to study just to adhere to their own ideas of success and happiness.

      I hope this answered some of your questions and gave you a sense of where I come from!

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  10. I often look up words and stuff I don't know. BTW, you still haven't told me your native dialect and birth place in Bharat. Just curious, no need for worry! :-)

    Yes, your explanation helped. But it is also what I would sort of expect.

    We have groups like that in the USA to, as I am sure you know. And I have been around them. Like you said, they share many values (both ideological and class). I can understand the community thing. But here in the USA when one of the first things a person tells me is that they went to an Ivy League school, they tell me more then they may imagine. I wonder what your fellow Indians would say -- but your country is far more diverse than mine. (BTW I lived in South Asia for 2 years).

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    1. Thank you for the reassurance Sabio :D

      I was born in Chennai and my native tongue is Tamil. Hope this satisfied your curiosity!

      Hope to see you around more :)

      Have a great week! Cheers!

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    2. Interesting -- yes, that did satisfy it. I wonder if it is different for a South Indian to attend such a prestigious North Indian school -- and then to live in North India.

      I really only spent time in North India (and studied Urdu and Hind). But I knew of the difference -- they are like two different countries -- with the North being the power holder.

      Interestingly, this has all come home to me very clearly in the last 5 years where here in the USA (Mid-West), one of my closest friends (and his wife) are from Chennai. He has helped me see that many of my views of India carry the bias of a North Indian. It has been very eye-opening. I remember when I studied Hindi at University, there were two groups of South Asian Studies folks -- those who studied Hindi and those who studied South Indian languages. The second group tended to be smarter and much more cool. I was always envious of them.

      OK, you have a good week too.

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  11. wow Mixi, this is such a lovely poem! loved that line - square apple, with blue peel and green offshoot!! but how many of us get a chance to be one? a wonderful message; however, i empathize with the parents as well. they just don't want to see their kids have any difficulty in life.

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    1. DJ! Dude, you read my poem! :D

      Increasing your BQ, huh? :P

      I, too, cannot fault their intentions. However, that does not make it right for them to destroy their child's confidence and self-worth by pushing them unreasonably and deriding their failure to comply. Though the right amount of push is necessary for a child to reach his/her potential, it is first important to identify that potential!

      Thanks for reading this DJ, even though you don't enjoy poetry :P

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  12. I'm applauding here on my end. The message and poem are awesome.

    I thought this was a perfect ending:

    "I hope you'll let me grow into myself
    Not the fruit you want me to be"

    until I read

    "Don't mould me to your dreams, into perfect glass fruit"

    so easily breakable, is glass. Well done!

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    1. Thank you so much Margaret! Your kind words give me much encouragement :)

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  13. You have a gift of creatively addressing very important matters and I'm grateful for your presence and voice.

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    1. Thank you so much Hannah. Your words give me great encouragement :)

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  14. great message Mixi ...I completely agree that Parents should let the kids maintain their individuality ... at the same time today I am thankful to my parents for guiding me towards the right path though at that time I absolutely resented it . But I absolutely loved the way you put forward this message ! Brilliant !

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    1. Thanks TTT! Children do need the right nudge from time to time to put their best foot forward, as long as that nudge doesn't turn into a shove :)

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  15. Ah! Well! One poem that i could understand Mixi! And, for what it is worth since I am inept at appreciating poetry, this one felt lovely.

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    1. Thank you for reading my poems Sir (even though I know you, like Debjyoti, prefer prose to poetry :) )

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  16. "Let me be a square apple, with blue peel and green offshoot
    Don't mould me to your dreams, into perfect glass fruit" Love that! What a perfect comeback to trying to make you into something you aren't nor do you want to be!

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    1. Thanks Susie! I read your feisty poem on a similar theme a few days back and enjoyed it thoroughly, so your comment made me smile :)

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