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When the Nonconformist has to Choose

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When asked to choose between pink and blue,
for the walls of my room,
I wondered why not both?
And on second thought,
I pointed at a can of green paint.
Bright, fluorescent, standing out…

And when that sweet neighbour asked me
which one of my parents I loved more,
I found it silly.
Of course, I loved both! Didn’t everyone?
But then I was not ready
to speak for everybody.
So, I just smiled and passed that question.

When I booked my first ticket
At the crowded railway station,
the ‘gender’ column made me wonder
whether everyone is either male or female.
But that didn’t make sense.
So I concluded that
only males and females are allowed to travel.
Others probably don’t.

I have been wondering ever since
about why choices always come in pairs.
Never less, never more.
Tea or coffee,
Barbie dolls or GI Joe’s,
Books or Kindle,
Poetry or prose,
War or peace,
Introvert or extrovert,
Happy or Sad,
Good or bad…
Sometimes I want to choose both.
Most of the time I prefer neither.

And it’s totally okay.
Because the best things in life
do not come in pairs.
Like that set of poster colours
I got on my thirteenth birthday.
Like that wagging tail of the pup
I fed on the street yesterday.
Like all those magical worlds and fictional characters
who made my childhood awesome
and continue to make adulthood tolerable.
The photographs from childhood
and memories of desserts and cakes.
Like the summer rains and winter sunshine
and the colours of spring and autumn.
The stars and the countless universes out there.
Like the melancholy that stays after a heartbreak heals.

So, it’s okay
to not choose
what is offered.
It’s okay
to neither fit in nor stand out.
It’s okay to be infinity
in a world of binaries.


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