The Road

by a Stanford student

This poem is about my mother, who tirelessly juggles traditional roles of an Indian wife with professional demands of working in the Silicon Valley. I constantly wonder how India will progress if its women remain in the kitchens, and in the shadows.  

Roll it out, roll it slow
Make no holes in the dough
Make it round, make it thin
Make it flat, make it spin

Watch it swell
Watch the heat
Make it fast
So we can eat

Take a second, maybe two
Lie down, for a few?
Nope, take it back
Get ahead of the pack

Get back up
Code, code, code
Meet the deadlines
Hit the road

The road to where? To what?
To respect?
To better health?
To some help around the house?

For now, it’s unclear
Because all roads, so far, will lead back here

Roll it out, roll it slow…


The author is Stanford undergraduate, and a first-generation American student of Indian descent. 

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3 thoughts on “The Road

  1. Anonymous says:

    I agree. The culture argument has become an easy way to wash our hands of the problems in other countries. It is dangerous to make the assumption that people in other countries homogeneously follow their culture – in fact, you’ll see that in India scores of protestors have taken to the streets in recent months to make their voices heard about women’s status in their society. Culture really comes into play when we engage with others to make efforts for change – we need to be respectful of their beliefs and sentiments before imposing our ideals. But again, discrimination is discrimination and deserves the attention of the global community.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think this is a sentiment that needs to be heard more often. Too many so-called progressives do nothing to help achieve gender equality in non-Western countries because they are too afraid of being cultural imperialists. Discrimination is discrimination and “cultural differences” are not an excuse to let it go unchallenged.

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