Image courtesy: Charcoal on canvas by my sister Tripti Thakur
Oh! It’s a baby girl!
The utter disappointment in the croak of voice from the parents grieving at the birth of their daughter……. The unfortunate newly born that I am!
Let her use the leftovers of food, clothes, and toys from her brothers, we don’t need to spend unnecessarily on her!
Recipient of such scorn from my relatives and family……. The disregarded infant that I am!
Why does she need to study or go to school? She will be spoiled!
Fastened in the ignorance of this mindset……. The deprived child that I am!
She must learn the household chores, Afterall, she doesn’t have to worry about earning for her family when she grows up!
Quietly recoiling at such biased opinions……. The disgruntled adolescent that I am!
‘Marrying her off and getting rid of our burden, is a tiresome and draining project for us’, आखिर, बेटियाँ तो पराया धन होती हैं!
Living with this horror and dejection everyday……. The scared adulthood that I am!
It doesn’t matter what your daughter can do, is good at, or how pleasant-natured her personality is, etc. etc.;
How beautiful she is, and What monetary value is she bringing with her to our household – are the only concerns we have deep-rooted in our attitude!
Silently resenting this outlook of my prospective ‘HOME’ ……. The compelled bride that I am!
Women in our house, don’t go out and work!
You cannot earn more than me!
I am a man, I can go to office outings, how can you even think of traveling with male colleagues!
So, what if you are just back from your office, you are a woman and you need to cook and take care of children!
No matter what may be the scenario, dealing with such discrepancies……. The anxious wife that I am!
Mom, why don’t you go to the office like dad? Why can’t you speak fluent English? You embarrass me in front of my friends! Let dad attend my school meetings!
Struggling with these bickerings of my children and simply wiping off my hurt with a bright smile……. The defenseless mother that I am!
You don’t spend enough time with me, Mom!
Am I ignoring my duties as a mother by devoting my time to my office and work?
Entangled in the uncertainty of my life’s decisions……. The worried working-mom that I am!
My heart desires to break free from the constant pressure of becoming a certain kind of perfect in every role! I want to be ME for once!
I want to have my dreams and live them…
I don’t want to perfectly balance my life; I want to make mistakes…
I want to stand for myself and I don’t want to be judged for my every move, step and decision in life…
I don’t want to compete with a man in a man’s world; I want to do the best I can as a woman while cherishing my existence in a free world…
I want to be loved for being a woman and I want to love being a woman…
I want to be respected for who I am… because I am the Woman that I am!
Dedicated to all those girls and women who are yet to see the light of the modern and liberated world… the ones who are still buried in the harshness of the family and society pressures in every nook and corner of our country…
And to those who are blessed to be among the progressive, and yet, face the challenges of being a woman everyday… To all the women!