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Story 1: Sammy(25 yrs old)was looking at her favourite jeans, which she could never wear again. Not cause she had gained weight, but cause her in laws didn't want their bahu to be seen in jeans.
Story 2: Namita(45years old), wanted to work, enjoy life, do something, be someone, but her husband and his family opposed her decision.
Story 3: Seema (20 yrs old), wanted to become a fashion designer. Doesn't want to marry, but her full family has been groom hunting for more than a year.
Story 4: "Notting hills" was coming up. It was Vidya's(35 yrs old)all time favourite movie. "News lagana jara", said her husband. She obliged, and instead of getting lost in the drooly eyes of Hugh Grant, she was forced to look into the eyes of a 60 year old politician making false acclaims. And this was not the first time that she has left the tv for the other family members. She often wondered whether there will ever be a time when someone will do the same for her.
Story 5: Sharmila ji (60years old) still at times gets goosebumps thinking about her abusive unfaithful husband. And now lives her life at the terms and conditions set by her only son.
Stories like these, make up our society. Stories like these are the part and parcel of innumerable women in our country. Stories like these are promoted by our society in the names of custom, tradition, rituals, duties and responsibilities of a WOMAN. Stories like these makes our blood boil, but somewhere down the lane, uncountable women are experiencing this everyday. And the sad part is, only a handful of them has the power to stand up to themselves.
I have just one question, for all the women reading this. What is the right age for a women to be independent, to think independently or to do things as per their wishes, not as per others. Is it in our 20's or 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's......or our deathbed?? When are we going to grow up, at what age? When are we going to stop letting others rule us? And please, if anyone is thinking about love, sacrifice, showing respect, then 'Don't think'!! Love, sacrifice and respect is not something that has been solely entitled to women. I agree that in order to run a family, one has to make certain sacrifices, some compromises. We all have done and will do, whenever required. Those are a part and parcel of life. But, that doesn't mean to stop living your life the way you want.
But the question still remains, why should the female gender be forced to follow certain illogical and irrelevant things? Why should any woman be forced to take a footlong ghoonghat to show respect? Or sacrifice her jeans for her family? Or eat only after the whole family has eaten? Why can't the men do the same when they are with their in laws? Its a matter of showing respect. Isn't it? So why should the set of rules be different on basis of gender? If a man has the right to have an affair, then why not a woman? And why does the society expect a woman to adjust to an inhuman husband, just to be a part of the society?
Why should a lady sacrifice her career just cause her in laws or husband doesn't want her to work? A man doesn't marry a women to get the household chores done or get his breakfast on time. For that, he can always hire a maid. He marries her for her company, a life time support, her love. So, decisions too, should be taken mutually, without hurting anyone's feelings. Can a man sacrifice his career, for his in laws or will his in laws ever want him to sacrifice his career so that he can look after them?? Definitely not. So why show your control over a woman? Is it, cause you think that women are weak? If yes, then please rethink, each and everyone of you were born out of a woman. But the sad part is, that if it was only the men who did it, I could understand, and blaming the gender would have been easier, but, women too, doesn't want other women too enjoy their freedom. Sometimes, women are women's greatest enemy. And sadly, it's tough to get rid of this crab mentality.
Whether you are working or not, at some point of time, you are being forced to do or think in a manner, that you don't want to, adjust to a thing, you don't want to, expect to take a responsibility that should ideally be shared by all. When will the world understand, that we are women, not a programmed robot, or a customised goodie.
There are innumerable families where the women folks are forced to agree upon everything, so that she can be a part of that family. For few, it's tough to come out of such a relationship, few adjust out of love or care, fear of the unknown, and I am no one to judge them. Frankly speaking, only the person facing this situation, knows how it feels. It's tough to empathize with them or be in their shoes. But the irony remains, that no matter how much we shout about women empowerment, their rights and privileges, gender equality, there will always be someone somewhere, who will be dependent on their counterparts, will adjust to tortures, abuses, injustice, infidelity etc. The main reason behind this is lack of family support and financial independence, or education and mostly the fear of 'what society will think?'. Well, if your husband beats you up, society doesn't come and rescue you, if your family goes hungry to bed, society will not offer you a seven course meal. You have to stand up for yourself, and take the command of your life in your own hands.
If you are hungry, you are the only one to satiate your hunger, I or any other person eating your meal will not satisfy your hunger. So, if you are facing problem, stand up and fight for it, fight for yourself, fight for your existence, fight for the wrong done. Don't expect, your husband, your parents, your kids, to fight your battle. Remember, they have their own. And you can be your best warrior. So stand up for yourself. If you don't, know one will, and at the end of the day, there will be a time when you will regret "If only, I didn't leave my job, if only I didn't take the first slap silently, if only I wore my jeans with pride, if only......... (list is endless). So rather than talking or listening to lectures on women empowerment, waiting for someone to rescue you, start empowering yourself. If someone stands by your side, consider yourself lucky. If not, then stop grumbling, rather gather some courage to start fighting for what is already yours.
P.S. This article has been written without any intention of hurting anyone's feelings.