Today’s prompt comes to us from this list of “all-time favourite writing prompts.” It asks you to name your alter-ego, and then describe him/her in detail. Then write in your alter-ego’s voice. Maybe your alter-ego is a streetwise detective, a superhero, or a very small goldfinch. Whoever or whatever your alternate self maybe, I hope this prompt lets you stretch both your writing skills and your self-knowledge.
I read the prompt when I was on my way to the mall and it left me introspecting. After much thought, I decided my alter-ego had to be either a Queen (Don’t laugh!) or a tortoise (slow and steady). I finally decided on the Queen- not just any queen though; certainly not one who’s only known for sitting pretty. But, one who’s brave enough to fight for what she believes in, who’s not scared to speak up for the right – a warrior queen, a leader. Now, if you’re wondering why not just a warrior, it’s because my alter-ego shows herself only when she’s sure that the fight is civilized and is played by rules – no street fights, no bickering, no backstabbing, no below the belt punches, no meanness. Fair and square- she’s ready to back off when the argument is valid and is fearless if she thinks it’s incorrect. She needs protocol.
The below poem is my alter-ego talking (as per the prompt). It’s things I feel strongly about but discuss only with friends and family because I’m no warrior queen. Thank you, Maureen, for today’s prompt; my alter-ego could finally voice its opinion.
There, I said it
There are things I want to talk about-
things that I can no longer brush under the carpet
For fear of what may happen
to me or my family
Someone needs to take the responsibility.
Enough of dilly-dalying,
standing on the sidelines and watching
How is the hijab row in India
any different from the war on Ukraine?
Both unwanted and both totally unnecessary!
Both saddening and both nonsensical.
As if two years weren't enough
of sickness, death,joblessness,
closure of schools and lives being on hold.
I thought we would learn
But, we are exactly
What we were- selfish, egoistical, beasts
Sadly, nothing's changed!
But, I'm not going to say, 'Nothing ever will,'
Because hope is what keeps us going.
So, I call upon your sleeping conscience-
You leaders, all. Wake up!
Use your power to do the right thing
Stop this madness! Let people live.
And to all the living people,I say,
'Speak up.Silence is a sin.
Looking away is too-
when your neighbour's home is burning
For, if you don't rise now
It won't be long before yours does too!
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