Monday, September 14, 2009

What do you do when your daughter refuses to go?

In the opening of David Copperfield, Charles Dickens once wrote,
“Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show!”

I know people do braver things. Go to war for the country, lay down their lives for social justice, quit a comfortable life to help the poor, sit on hunger strikes for their rights, lots of things, which need immense strength and an indomitable spirit. Maybe my brevity will count nothing amongst those stories. Maybe I’m just a small portion but in my world, I think I went way ahead.

In my personal list of 100 things to do before I get old- Today, Now –
39. Stand up for myself.

I stood up for what I thought was right. Against all the odds and the evens. Against everyone who has ever loved me. Against the world which gives you no voice. Against the community which robs you of your freedom. Against this system, wherein, a woman’s happiness counts to nothing. And unhappiness, well, you just get used to it.

I read at IHM’s blog, what do you do when your daughter refuses? And it really made me think, that 99 out of 100 families in India will force her to come to terms with injustice. As long as he’s not hitting you and as long as you’re not burnt, everything else is workout-able. How much unhappiness is enough unhappiness? Why does our mother's generation think that all marriages are based on women giving up their lives, livelihood and dreams? Why is Happiness a selfish luxury asked by the girls way too spoilt?

Is an Indian Marriage a selfless act of righteousness? And Love here, just a possibility, not an intention, not the purpose, just a mere chance byproduct? Chance.

We have so many people working towards underprivileged women, with women married off too early, with women facing violence in marriages, women with drunk husbands, so many. But how is it that we never talk about the real problems. The problem is not that these women have the wrong men. The problem is that women are conditioned to not speak up. Not stand up. And left at the mercy, first parents, then husband, then when they consult their parents –redirected to husband. The real privilege so many of us are robbed off is Freedom. Freedom to speak our minds and be heard.

Unfortunately, a woman being unhappy in a relationship is tagged as ‘noncompromising’, ‘adamant’, ‘career oriented’, ‘too ambitious’, ‘selfish’, ‘self centered’, ‘egoist’ and last and my favourite, ‘slutty and characterless’. Why is it that if your husband earns enough and is not particularly hitting you, its enough and you shoudnt ask for more.

So what is it that is wrong here? I am? Someone who thinks that breaking up a relationship on the pretext that “I’m not happy!” and “I’m not ready!” is a justified cause? Have I had too much Hollywood? Am I dreamer? Should I have just shut up and go ahead and once again mess up my life? Once again.

Sometimes unhappiness is the only problem and I believe its justified as well. And you don’t have only lower class people in it. Ask any women of middle class homes in joint families and they’ll tell you how they’ve never made any decision of their life themselves. That is helplessness.

In their own peer pressure and their acclaimed self acquired right to dictate their children’s lives, they force you. All the time. To not wear a certain dress. To not sit on a bike with guys. To shut up and never utter the blasphemous words of breakup. Basically, to be scared, all your life. To be scared of who you might become. To be scared of who you really are.

How much longer are women just going to sit and blame fate. I never quite got the English translation for majboori. I just concluded that itni majboori shayad India main hi hoti hain.

I for one, have lead enough amount of time blaming the people, system and fate. And I wont anymore. And I’ll fight.

And I did. So yeah, I quit the whole relationship scene. I’m done. So long and thank you for… nothing.

The story of how I did, what I did, stands to be told, but that another day. It'll be a quite a bollywood for y'all. For now, wake up, it's september end. Brief smile. Greed. A whole hearted sleep.