In “An unknown girl”Moniza Alvi explores the theme of Identity through the use of Symbolism, visual imagery, and metaphorical language. The poem is about her trip to India and all the memories she made there. While embracing the Indian culture the speaker finds a new part of themselves. The speaker is clinging on to her newfound identity as she feels it may slowly fade away with time. “I am clinging to these firm peacock lines like people who cling to the sides of a train.”(35). The author is clinging on to her tattoo just like people on the train. She is also very scared just like them as she does not know which culture she belongs to. She is trying to find a balance between the two. At this part of the poem, it is clear that Moniza Alvi is talking about herself as she is half Pakistani and half English.She is the “unknown girl”. She was also brought up in England which means she is more westernized. What Moniza Alvi is feeling is what many of us with parents with bicultural marriage feel. Moniza Alvi feels as though she does not fully belong to one culture. Wherever she goes it will be obvious that she’s not from there and she will stick out. Since Moniza Alvi was brought up in England she is more westernized than she is Indian/Pakistani. The speaker is actually the unknown girl as the poem is her finding her roots in an unfamiliar culture When the speaker says “She is icing my hand”(7) she uses visual imagery.by comparing the henna process to icing. The icing is a sweet confection as it is usually on cakes and cupcakes. It is usually piped on these pastries through a nozzle just like the henna. This helps readers that do not know much about Indian culture and henna picture the process. Comparing the henna process to a sugary treat that is favored by many people shows that the speaker is fond of these memories. It tells the reader that the speaker will cherish the memory of finally belonging. The speaker refers to her henna as “new brown veins”(27) and this symbolizes how the speaker has found her cultural identity. The henna design describes as “new brown veins” symbolizes how the speaker has found a new part of herself in the Indian culture. The speaker is now in touch with her roots and she finally feels like she belongs. It is evident that Moniza Alvi is writing about herself when she says this as she is half English half Pakistani. Since she was brought up in England she is more western and this culture is probably unfamiliar to her. The hennaing is her experiencing and embracing this culture. She ends up finding herself in the process as she says “I have new brown veins.”. This gives the reader a sense of rebirth as the speaker is finding a new part of themselves. The author then says “It will fade in a week.” When the speaker says this it symbolizes how her memories will slowly fade. In time the author’s memories of these events will not be as sharp and vibrant as they are now, but they’ll still be there. The author will still be reminded of her tattoo everytime”India appears and reappears”. This means that she will always remember that feeling of belongingness and how she desire’s to feel like this all the time. Through the use of symbolism, metaphorical language and visual imagery Moniza Alvi discusses the theme of identity and how she found herself after a trip to India. The author finds a perfect balance of both the cultures she belongs to.