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.

33 comments:

Kamal said...

:)

Kaka said...

excellent post....:)...

Guria said...

Reading you after along time! Where were you?!! :~))

Now I am going back to read the post! :P

Indian Home Maker said...

I love how you began this post... read the first lines again after finishing the post...

I agree nothing is as helpless as not being able to take decisions, not even those decisions that concern you and nobody else as much...

Sonia Gaud said...

Loved reading your post, and I smile at your modesty when you say your 'brevity will count nothing'. It's a lot honey :) And I'm proud of knowing a girl like you who has an intellectual approach to life.

I was buying a Barbie for my niece and they had this new chick with an audio "I love makeup! And I hate Math". I was disgusted to see how this social attitude has translated into toy recordings. Duh. So we as women are only supposed to look beautiful and have no opinion/logic?

Anyways, I'm married, and am okay with the selfish-bitchy-careerist tag. Do hell with them.

Lisa Mahapatra said...

Oh honey, Love this post. So insightful. I'm going to be a girly girl and say, "You go Girl, and redefine what being girly means!!"

Sharad said...

I can smell individuality in your writing; a concept alien to the land of Varnas and more so to the land of Satis.

Naarya said...

hmmmm....very true...all of it...

zubin said...

Could not agree with some of the points mentioned, but really like the entire thingy about the power to say stop when you had enough. Wishing everyone could do it, and the world would be a much happier place.
"For all my rage, I am still just a rat in the cage" defines me for example, and I dont have the courage to jump out. Good to see that you do.

Priya said...

Read all of them today.
And i know,this is completely YOU,from all the years i'v known you.
It takes alot of courage face your fears & i'm still struggling to gather it. :)

Instinctivecuriosity said...

@ Kamal, Kaka

Thankyou :)

@ Guria

As you can tell from the post, the past couple of weeks have been quite eventful, to state the least!

Instinctivecuriosity said...

@ IHM

Your post gave me a lot of strength itself. And I'll tell you what, I have never felt this alive in my life. So much pride, so wide eyed.

@ Sonia

About the Barbie, oh god, I would've raised a ruckus on that freakin' company! Thank God it's not launched here - Barbie Company fucking saved from my offlate very mad (very very mad) (feminist) equivocal demeanor.

And yeah... hell with them :)

Instinctivecuriosity said...

@ Lisa, Sharad, Naarya

Thankyou!

@ Zubin

I would love to know which points you do not agree on. I never shy away from healthy discussions (since I have a lot of freetime on my hands, at all times!) :)

Also.. the day you find the battle worth fighting for, you'll find the courage too.

Instinctivecuriosity said...

@ Priya

Abe.. I didnt know tu mera blog padhti bhi hain! It sort of made my day that you do.

See, I'm almost the same ever since 8th grade, ok a bit saner (a bit). I miss you re. How are you?

Priya said...

Well,as a matter of fact,i read it all yesterday. It just happened :) reminded me of alot of things...
U even inspired me to quit my diary n start blogging.Hopefully,some day :)
N yea,u haven't changed a bit....!

Ishaan Ratnam said...

I was reading the newspaper today and came across this article...
http://www.naidunia.com/Details.aspx?id=22826&boxid=130476838

So if a woman doesn't follow any of these 5 Vachans she is in Indian terms 'Badchalan'...

Crass of the Hippocratic Indian society!

zubin said...

Well the entire idea of the Indian woman being majboor. I dont know, I believe that Indian women, like women everywhere, are more manipulative when they want to. And the society norms and all are set by Indian women. We can have a discussion on this if you want :D.

Instinctivecuriosity said...

@ Zubin

Oh my god! You have no clue what you're getting yourself into! :P This is a very very wrong discussion to take up with me! :) BUTTT.. I'm game! :)

Kamal said...

@ Nainy
I have never felt this alive in my life. So much pride, so wide eyed.

Finally....

Sona Garnaik said...

i had so many questions in mind..nw i dont wanna answer for any. just wanna say, enof said,enof done. U need a brk darling...just to remain blank for a while and think nothing.... nothing at all.......

manish said...

proud of you!!!

Aditya said...

Talk as much as one may about empowerment, equality etc; when it comes to relationships and marriage the attitude of society is still prehistoric. My best wishes to you, hope it all turns out fine.

Instinctivecuriosity said...

@ Aditya

Yes, we are. Most certainly so. Sadly so. Thank you for the wishes.

@ Sona, Manish, Kamal

Thank you, yes, finally.

Eternally Stupidified said...

Knowing you, I can say you are the HERO of your life. I don't know what to say? But can't stop atknowledging the fact that you are a inspiration, Never give up.
One day we will look back and smile about these times :)

Archana said...

Very interesting post, glad I bumped into your blog. :)

I do think it's crazy how women are expected to bend over backwards to make things work. Though it is comforting to see the newer generation of more broad-minded couples living and leading life a whole lot different than what it once was. As for the men who fit the old-school-kiss-the-floor-I-walk-on stereoptype, all I can say to them is good freaking luck, because this generation of women, is a whole lot different.

Nahl said...

Fuck, Nainy you're such an amazing writer!
I wonder too,about my mother and those of our mothers' generations. They give up everything for the sake of holding up a marriage..they might be unhappy but they believe that that's the only way to go. I fear ever being in a position you were in. God forbid, because I don't think I'd be able to stand up for myself the way you did.

MRIDUL DADHICH said...

great nainy.........
words n xpresions r ur power i love readind ur blogs which hv d potential power of truthness.......

Nikki said...

Nice write up.

Ady said...

Exactly what most girls go thru.. Only responsibilities and no rights all the way. Works for money as the man of the house and works at home as the woman of the house too.. I think women should stop multi-tasking for once...

Umesh Ranglani said...

kudos girl !!! being single aint that bad if you know how to enjoy your freedom ! hope you do !

heavealie said...

ohh a lot of people tell me that india is progressing and blah blah blah!!but you know wat even after 0yrs of freedom we are still on that same very page of the book we were 60yrs back!!so many years have gonna by and still our beliefs,ideas are just grass root!!condition of women is still the same all over india,there is no more dowry(yea yea)instead there are gifts given by parents coz they want to!!all the social barriers are still prevalent and they say india is progressing.i think every women should depend on themselves for there life!!career gives them that standing against others attitude!!you are earning so wat the hell even if your husband is hitting you frigging place a slap and give him a divorce.characterless goes a long way!!you complaint about ur husband-you are characterless,his family misbehaving-you are characterless.if there is a problem then women are the victim!!its time we open our eyes and come face to face with the fact that we are still those illiterate Indians over whom Britishers ruled!!and no matter how much you tell them they wont change.change yourself(courage) rather than waiting for the world to change!!well written post!!you mentioned some great points and i admire you for your words!!keep writing!!

Sreejs said...

it was indeed very well.. expressed as most of us feel this but just cannot say it...

Sreejs said...

it was very very well expressed as many a times most of us have experienced such things but we just cannot put it in words