How Do I Tell You Ma?

You say psychology was your favourite subject. Then why is that you fail to understand me?

You ask me
“What problems can you possibly have?
You’re only seventeen”

But how do I tell you Ma?
How do I tell you about the high-functioning depression that I am a victim of?
How do I tell you that I have anxiety issues when you laugh at my incapability to order food without sweating and stammering?
How do I tell you about the guy who broke my heart when you’re too conservative to even see me talk to a guy?

Tell me, Ma.
How do I talk to you about my broken heart when you don’t believe that someone as young as me can ever have her heart broken?
How do I talk to you about how lonely I feel when you think I have enough friends?
How do I tell you that I want to kill myself when I know you almost died giving birth to me?

I can never share with you
The things that make my heart bleed.

I can never show you the poetry I have created
Out of the wounds that never heal.

I can never tell you about the unusual breakdowns in the school washroom, about the nightmares I have
And the demons that suffocate me everyday.

I know you try your best, Ma.
And I know you love me.

You’re still the most beautiful woman in my life,
Even if you don’t understand poetry.
You’re still an amazing mother,
Even if you think I’m too young to be worried.
You’re still the person I think of, when I cry;
Even if I can never justify these tears to you.

You’re still the person that makes me stay,
Even if I don’t want to wake up the next day.


Tanishka is a 17-year-old high school student who aspires to become a Human Rights lawyer. She is from Delhi, though currently living in Lucknow. She is an ambivert who loves to read, write and dance. She creates poetry out of her scars and nightmares. She writes and writes till she can finally put up a façade.


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