|   Mar 04, 2016



Much pain filled my heart; the world was never the same. I had expected things to change for the good but this had never crossed my mind. Yesterday, the world was re-born. I was unsure if it is transformed or merely re-created for a cause. However, I knew that it was now an equal world. For once there were no comparisons, no choices to make, no conflicts, no cries, no wounds, and no inferior group! It was just the 1st day. We weren't sure how long the silence would remain or rather peace rest in our hearts. We were now all men, all over the world. Women and children disappeared over the night. We thought with pride - "For once, the world is all men and all ours". The feeling of freedom was long waited for, almost like a great achievement!


There was a different feeling at my home, my messy home. It had not been cleaned like every night and day. The prints of my messy work lay all over. The laughter of children was missing, coming to harass me as I sleep peacefully. How come then, was I missing the mischief? In that long hauled silence, the growl was clearly heard, by me alone!


 Until yesterday, it was not often that I visited the kitchen. I had to be invited like a special guest hosting some small event, small in comparison to his status in society. Till today, I had always felt like that – cooking is a small task, doing business; earning money is a big task! Suddenly I realized that however small it was, cooking was as complex as business. It was not just cooking in fact; getting to reach the satiation of another’s appetite was a task indeed, family members with different tastes and expectations eating at different times was surely something to think about. Earlier I had been too busy with what I had called – “more important thoughts and tasks”. We were four men in the house and this week, it was my turn to cook. 

I managed to struggle my way up the kitchen and stop that growl for a while. My turn in cooking would come only once a month for 8 days but it was long enough when I thought of doing that until I would breathe my last! In spite of that, the day still looked bright and wonderful; the feeling was freedom was new indeed. 

Driving to work, I felt the vastness of the spaces we lived in. There were lesser people on the streets and lesser noise too. On reaching office, I called on my assistant – the first task I would do daily. And there I saw a young man waiting to take my instructions. Anna had left, disappeared, vanished! Not that I was involved in any affair, it was the very sight of young, beautiful women that was…?? I cannot still identify the exact feeling. Maybe I can call it REFRESHING. I shared some jokes with my new assistant – ‘male’ jokes! We had a good laugh. The day passed by normally, nothing exciting and nothing unpleasant too. There was definitely peace around the house as I reached. No complaints for the day, no upsets or frustrations to be removed on me. As if my wife was on a vacation with the kids.


The night went by casually, I managed to sleep well. Dinner was at a nearby hang out place as there were no bars to hang out and no women to watch. Morning again was a hassle with breakfast. I managed it somehow, looking forward to the next week which would ensure freedom from cooking for 3 weeks! The week did pass by quickly. In the evenings, we men enjoyed playing badminton, basketball, hanging out at clubs and playing cards. There were no restrictions on reaching home, keeping it clean and no fixed duties. Drink, laugh, and sleep as much as we wanted to.


However, as days passed, the vastness of the universe seemed smaller in comparison to the emptiness that slowly grew in our hearts. Life was not so simple in living by oneself – Without a partner, without women, without a wife and without children. I was becoming more self-aware, I now knew that flirting with women enhanced our self-esteem, made us feel good about ourselves but the feeling of being fulfilled and complete came from a family, with the presence of my wife and my children!  Slowly discussions around the beer tables rounded to the absence of women, their importance in our lives and the difference that they made.


We were still circling around our own needs, conveniently not remembering the incidents of violence and exploitations done by any of us (from the entire species of men all across the globe). After a few weeks of the big change, it was coming to our realization that we definitely did not miss children as much as we missed women and our wives. The beer wasn’t as exhilarating and the feeling/experience of being a man wasn’t as enormous and as superior as before.  It was clear now that our identities were influenced by the presence of women.


That night when I slept, I dreamt of a horrible end of the world – all men, reducing in number as deaths occurred without an equal balance of births. Men in offices worked lesser, less efficiently, the purposes to live were slowly vanishing, and the hollowness of Nothingness was cramping the already small world of men! Suddenly I was witnessing illnesses, stray men, hopeless and helpless men being eaten up by animals. Their bodies had outgrown the proportion, out of overweight – of frustrations and agitation. The last voice I heard was: “Only if we had realized that we used women like pillows where we remove our pressures as we sleep in peace. God had once asked me if I wanted a world without women and I had said YES!”  And then the man perished in front of my eyes.


I stood up on my bed with a jerk, startled, confused and in some kind of strange fear. And then heard, “Darling it is time to get up, aren’t you getting late to work? Breakfast is ready!” That is when I reformed my thoughts – “Only if the world was without men!” I remembered my wife’s favourite joke – “All our problems begin with men: women, menstruation, menopause and mental illness. Ha ha ha…”


I knew I had a great day coming ahead, after all I had seen the twinkle in the eyes of my wife, her life-warming smile and the laughter of innocent children running around the home.

 - by Rima Desai


Please Note: This is my original fictional work and is an attempt towards increasing awareness in the society, towards GENDER BASED VIOLENCE or BIAS prevalent in various parts of the world. By no means is it an accusation on a specific section of people, group of individuals or individual. It is best to be taken as a means asking for introspection, interrogation, inspiration and motivation to bring about positive and healthy changes, And for a drive towards healthier, fulfilling societies.


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