I quickly closed the account book after entering the credits for the day. Giving a once over to make sure that I had locked every cupboard and the shop’s in-built storeroom, I picked my bike key and headed out. I started my bike but turned back the ignition key almost immediately. My eyes had fallen on the rear view mirror and took in a small stooped form on the pavement, a small head peaking out from behind the dumpster. The head immediately went down and tried to hide itself from my view. To my “Hey… Who are you?”, I heard only a feeble whimper.
The floral drapes were pulled, and the sunlight, along with a whiff of fresh breeze, streamed through the open windows and gently stroked my face. I rubbed my still groggy eyes and looked at the clock on the bedside table. Before I could make a note of the time, my hazy eyes fell on her. Tiny beads of water dripped from the loose tresses; the towel failed to confine them in its grasp and trickled down her blouse. “How lucky are those droplets of water?” I thought. They get to caress her soft and lustrous skin before I do. Green-coloured bangles made their way down her wrist and jingled as she moved her hands. A bindi was exactly where it had to be.
“We are pleased to inform you that you have been selected as Project coordinator in the international cooperation department of our Embassy. You are now required to go through the police verification and medical. You have one month to submit the reports.”
I jumped out of my chair when I read this mail while sitting in one of the cyber cafes.
My eyes took in her arrogant face. I knew that my face didn’t look any different from hers either, in that second. Afterall, this apple didn’t fall that far from that deep-rooted wrinkled tree. I hated her from the bottom of my heart in that instant. I hated to be in the same room as hers, sharing the same breath as her.
Naveen was engrossed in reading the newspaper as though the onus of solving the world’s problems lay on his shoulders. His mother Ganga snatched the newspaper and stood with her hands on her hips. Raising his eyebrows Naveen threw his hands dramatically in the air. She suggested, “Why don’t you both go on a vacation?”
“Cutting my body open and leaving a forever scar and calling it a choice to make things easier for selfish motives.” YES, THE STORY OF MY PREGNANCY!! Wah re Duniya!!👏 Claps , please!! I don’t know how to present this particular topic but I want this message to reach all the mothers who have been
Sindoor- I don’t like to wear.Lipsticks and kajal- I use very rarelyBindi- Not in daily use. Depends on my mood.Bangles and bichhiya- I can’t carry at allSarees- I am not comfortable in!So you see, I am an almost no make up person who prefers wearing minimal ornaments and accessories. I am very much comfortable in the way I look naturally and mostly wear loose fitting clothes that are easy for me to carry. Even carrying a dupatta seems a big task to me, so I use that also rarely.I am a married woman. But dressing up simple sans any makeup is the real me and I am happy to be the way I am!It is entirely my personal choice to be that way and I also completely respect the choices of others in the way they want to carry themselves. I don’t bother them unnecessarily or give them unwanted suggestions. I don’t judge them for their choices. And I myself expect to be treated the same way.But still, judgements, criticisms, unsolicited advices keep pouring from all corners, especially from women.”Arey! Aap married hain! But you don’t look like one!””Kucch nahi toh atleast Sindoor toh lagaya karo!””Why don’t you wear bichhiya? Isn’t it compulsory for married women to wear!””Do wear Sarees kabhi kabhi! Sasuraal wale kucch nhi kehte kya?””Shaadi-shuda ladies ke liye suhaag ki nishaani zaroori hoti hai!”Be it in family functions, my workplace or office parties, or even when I am meeting strangers, I am bombarded with umpteen comments (sometimes behind my back) and uninvited suggestions as to how should I present myself before others in our society. And most of them are women who heap their expectations on me.At times I feel uncomfortable and sometimes even frustrated as to why people don’t let me just be? why can’t people stop interfering in other’s lives? why is it so difficult to respect the choices of others?But now I am learning to keep my calm. I have found my own way of dealing with such uncomfortable questions. So now when someone asks me why don’t you wear this or that to look like a married woman, I simply answer that even my husband doesn’t ‘look married’. He chooses to stay simple, so do I and this is entirely our personal choice. It may sound rude at times but believe me in most of the cases, the conversation stops then and there!******I don’t understand that why in our society it is still so important for a married woman to ‘look married’? Men on the other hand have always been exempted from such expectations. Why can’t we respect a woman’s choice to carry herself as she wants to without judging or criticizing her? Indian women are today making a mark in every field but we still expect them to look and behave like a ‘Sanskaari nari’. When will we give up such a regressive mentality?
I asked the embarrassing question to everyone, ‘Have you seen my sexy lacy red bra from Marks and Spencer?’Bewildered, wide-eyed, people answered in disbelief, ‘No madame, How can we see?’I wailed, in tears, I narrated my story to hubby darling.
I could only think about her. Even before the words found their way, tears came out. Because only I know how much she means to me and how she has endured to motivate me.
I am very stubborn. To be honest, I am very annoying at times. I am adamant, messed up and irritating. I don’t listen to anyone. But she’s different. When she is not well, she encourages me. When she’s moving through the lane of disappointment, she cares for my sentiments.
It was the year 2002. I was fresh out of college, had landed a job and was stationed in Delhi. I had dreamt of living in a small flat, all by myself. Each and every wish of mine was on its way to fulfilment.
And then I met Sameer. A short, pudgy guy who was a senior in my workplace. Hailing from the Andaman Islands, he was a part of the indigenous tribes. It was probably his dreams, his big talks that attracted me to him. He liked me, I knew. I tried to keep away. But my desk was after his and he would drop in for some reason or the other. Soon we were having lunch together. I fell for him. Well, today when I think of him, I don’t know why I fell for him.