“Here I am this is me
There’s nowhere else on earth I’d rather be”
No. Not one of my favourites by Bryan Adams. Just that this song explains my life so well. I am here not because I want to be here, but I never had a CHOICE anyway. Who would ever fantasise being born in a typically conservative middle-class Indian family? That too as a woman? I would rather be Janis Joplin crooning away my worries and fighting battles with weed. Huh!
Now just because I am going to say a few things about how I feel as a woman, don’t come with your fully loaded theories about why feminists suck. They too don’t have a CHOICE but to point out the inevitably visible holes in the chaotic conventional society, remember! So just to tell you why I am writing about CHOICE is because I was deprived of it and here is how.
1. When the tharki uncle, made me sit on his lap and stroked my back a bit too much, or when he brushed my private parts and acted unaware, I didn’t have a CHOICE to slice him up like a cucumber.
2. Don’t have a choice to wear what I feel like. Imagine this, when a fancy MBA in finance with corporate experience to flash, says this. Halter necks, short skirts, deep necks are like wet dreams.
3. No CHOICE for education. While I always wanted to pursue Advertising, my father thought that I was too liberal and might end up in trouble, if not supervised. Hence, he made me take up a course of his choice, based on the theory of relativity. So, I ended up with a course in Bengaluru so that relatives could keep an eye on what I was up to.
4. While we discuss our property
issues, you ask my opinion out of sheer courtesy and all the sanskari upbringing. But my voice does not matter beyond that. Your CHOICE of action is final because you know better. Wait. What?
5. Now with new roles of being a wife and a mother, I ought to be more careful of what I say or what I write because it is going to influence the little one. I am to mend my temper, shun the ‘f’ word (and not f for feminism), and act like a Maa who can put even Nirupa Roy to shame. It is time to say ‘bye’ to old ways of hanging out with friends and don’t even mention drinking! Who cares what my choice of a good drink is.
6. Be prepared to give up since one of the virtues of a woman is to keep calm, stick that sexy curve on the face and say, ‘It is OK.’ Like everything in life is just about acceptance and the world will turn holier than it has already been.
7. Pass the sanskars even if you don’t believe in them or follow them. The traditions have to keep going generation to generation like a pendulum. How much of it is sensible is not a question to be questioned at all. And who the hell are we to question them. We are built ‘technically’ to follow.
8. Even if I feel choked and nauseated in your dominance over every meal I cook, every piece of cloth I wash, I am only expected to puke goodness. Why? Because that’s the way aha, aha. They like it aha, aha.
And my darlings, this is not a piece of fiction. So MEN, please learn to live with the fact that treating a woman as an equal, needs some guts. Go get it first and then come forward to argue. I should live more on hope or dope, than CHOICE. Maybe life will treat me well, then at least.
Poornima is a Freelance content writer, Academic and Research writer and Proofreader based in Bangalore.
Cover Credit: Vinita Agrawal