by Simona Singh
The following poems depict a hypothetical conversation between a father and his daughter, before her birth. It reflects the anticipation, excitement, love, and fear of a father at the prospect of meeting his daughter for the first time. Celebrated on January 13th of every year, Lohri is traditionally seen as the harvest festival, marking the end of peak winter and the beginning of the farming season. “Over the years, Lohri became a special occasion for couples to celebrate their new born sons,” says poet Simona Singh. “Girls, on the other hand, have not always been celebrated. Although things over the year have started to change, there are still people that don’t believe in the celebration of daughters.”
“If feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights on social, economic, and political grounds, and equality to men, then Sikhi and feminism go hand in hand. Sikhi is based on egalitarian principles and fairness for everyone, regardless of their gender, which makes it feminist in my eyes. I try to use my life experiences as an artistic journey; in fact, these pieces are based on a true story. It’s how my dad felt before I was born, he was so excited to meet me. Something we all should feel at the prospect of having daughters.
The purpose of these pieces is to raise awareness on the social inequalities within our society. Us women have an unbelievable amount of strength and resiliency within us that has been shunned and oppressed for way too long. It’s time we recognize ourselves as the fierce warriors that we are. My writing is also meant to encourage men to self-reflect and notice what beliefs they hold, and whether they work for or against equality. Us women need men to be onboard with us, and to realize that equality between the sexes is a fight we all need to fight, together.”
Tell me more about the first day we met.
The day you phased, back and forth, anxious, wondering
What was taking me so long. The day you felt so much excitement in your heart,
It was about to burst, and how
every second of every minute
Was equivalent to us taking a step closer to one another.
Tell me more about how, the idea of me not showing up,
Of us not holding hands together, felt like
A punch in the stomach.
– A daughter
Love at first sight.
The day I looked in your eyes
for the first time.
The day I picked you up, with my gentle hands,
Making sure not to break you. I held you close to my chest,
Until our heart beats synced. And I dreamt.
Of the laughter. The jokes. The fights. The tears.
We will one day share together.
And of all the festivities I will have in your name.
Because you, my dear daughter, are worth celebrating too.
– A father
Simona Singh is a Canadian poet, artist, and social justice activist of Punjabi descent. Born and raised in Italy, she now lives in Calgary, Canada with her family. Simona graduated with a degree in Business Finance, and is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Education at the University of Calgary. She is the founder of SheisaSingh on Instagram, a platform for her writing which address feminism, mental health, love, self-discovery, and other topics deemed taboo by society.
Feature photo by Omar Lopez