This Women’s Day, I Mourned

For all those women who were and are raped, for all those abused wives and friends, for all those women whose talents are suppressed for merely being born a woman. For the child raped by the Church priest, for the 7 children in the orphanage who were raped, for…
Yesterday, I was tagged in many Women’s Day post and videos and I did not participate or comment on any of those. Honestly, I did not feel like celebrating.
 
My facebook feed was flooding with women’s day wishes, tags and videos extolling womanhood and praising women. Meanwhile, the newspapers and TV channels had small snippets of rapes in orphanages, rapes of siblings, of little children and stories of rape related to various religions/communities! The irony.
 
I am not ‘proud’ to be a woman. It isn’t a hard earned achievement to be proud of. If anything, I am scared and I feel unsafe all the time. Umpteen times have I considered dressing up like men so I would feel safe.
 
I was born with genitals different from men and that dictated my life. My duties, the way I walk, talk, clothe HAD to be according to a rule book because of the body I was given at birth. I have been suffering on many levels because of something that wasn’t even my choice! If given a choice, I would prefer to be a male. I know! I know! Guys tell me it is not easy. But for starters, I would like to go out without being stared at (read x-rayed) or followed. Or even worse, without being groped, or pointed at like an animal at the zoo.
 
It is well and good if, after all this celebration, one really resolved to not make a woman in the street uncomfortable or to appreciate how one’s mother/wife works every day without even a break on a Sunday and resolved to give her a break every alternate week or so.
 
I doubt that any rapist, molester or vulgar men sending vulgar or threatening messages in facebook messenger or showing their genitals or rubbing them against women in public would be reading this or that this write-up would make a change in any manner. But if things like these could be stopped, that could call for a celebration.
Women Wouldn't have to be celebrated
Women Wouldn’t have to be celebrated
 
No offense meant to anyone celebrating it or wishing people. I am awed by your positivity. I just don’t feel it. This Women’s day hullaballoo has been immensely annoying to me because it is like celebrating Peace in Westeros! I don’t want to be praised, wished and extolled on one out of 365 days because I am a woman. I just want the respect that any person deserves irrespective of gender on all 365 days.
 
I am appalled by the necessity of a frequent reminder that women are people and not boobs and mere holes between the legs. A reminder that falls on deaf ears. In a perfect world, Women won’t have to be celebrated. The need for a celebration is disheartening.
 
Note – I am not generalizing and I know, all men aren’t the same. I am not against the celebrations either. A series of events and news during the last couple of days disturbed me and the women’s day celebrations seemed like a joke at the wake of it. Hence the rant. Phew!

Me – A Woman Pointed Away from Technology & Towards Kitchen

Two conversations were sufficient for me to realize that some of the educated people today, still lack the common sense to think for themselves.

Conversation 1

It was about booking an Uber. The app showed us that there were no cars available. Having used it many times before, I suggested a solution. The reply was a mocking smile and,

“This is the problem with women & technology.”

I felt like I had been slapped on my face. I looked at him open mouthed. He was someone close to me, educated and I’m sure he must have come across tech savvy women. Yet, this is what he said. Since the cab was our priority, I explained to him how to go about my suggestion. Soon, we were waiting for the cab. I told him softly that I was hurt when he said those words. I don’t think he understood how awful I felt, but all the same he apologized.

What about all those situations when men are equally ignorant about technology? I have come across many such instances. I have corrected men when they were wrong. Yet, I haven’t heard a comment that said ‘technology & men’. I ensure that I don’t mock people for their ignorance. Here the mocker was the ignorant one.

via meme generator
via meme generator

 

Conversation 2

I was discussing about my course with a relative (A man) and then the topic of family came up. I was told.

“You women should venture into the kitchen and take up some work.”

I said it wasn’t as easy as said. There are situations at home, I have classes & studies. Due to various other reasons, it isn’t possible for me to do all the work at home.

“Face the consequences. You ladies have to take up the household chores”, came the reply.

Probably, he was used to talking that way, rather than listening what the other person had to say. I didn’t want to worsen the argument and so I agreed and ended it.

I know many working women who wake  up early, prepare food for their husband, send them to work, then they go for work, return, do household chores, prepare dinner & clean up after the same. These days, men are helping too. But there are many houses where that doesn’t happen.

It goes thus, women ‘have to’ do the household chores while men ‘don’t have to’. We are still clinging on to age old customs without thinking logically. There is a limit for the human body to take up work & stress. Beyond that limit, the health gets affected which is partly why more women suffer from ailments than men. Most of my friends’ mothers have knee pains, low bone density, other joint pains etc compared to their fathers.

Woman Working - Silly Woman! That's not the kitchen.
via meme generator

Solution

Let us think logically. Our ancestors did restrict women from living their lives and so, their lifestyle was thus. Now that women are in every field, we should also lighten their burdens. Every family is different from the other. So based on your family, talk it out. Discuss how the burden could be reduced and shared if not equally, at least to an extent. It might be complicated at first. But gradually, you can work it out. Ultimately, the health & peace of mind of people around you is what matters.

Those who cannot be this open minded can marry women who aren’t ambitious rather than marrying educated women and squeezing the life out of them. If you are a parent who has a problem with a working daughter in law, find a daughter in law who prefers to be a house-wife. There are many such women. I respect them all equally. Forcing someone to become someone else is not the solution.

I am a CA student. I am capable of doing the chores at home & I actually like doing them. I love cooking, arranging & cleaning. But when I have classes or when my exams are approaching, studying for minimum 10 hours a day becomes necessary. People (relatives who don’t know how difficult CA is) ask me to do chores when I take a break. After studying for 2 hours, the only 15 mins break I take, I should work. Does that sound reasonable to you? Why isn’t that asked of the men who are pursuing the same course?

Both the conversations happened within a span of a month. Both are my relatives; well educated, know the strains and pains of a working woman, have worked with women colleagues. They see the lives of women, be it in the family or at work and yet, use tones that generalize women and phrases that adorned the women of 19th century.

If education and experience talks this way, what can I say about the rest of our country?

Day 3 – A Long Awaited Dream

100 Happy Days – Day 3

Happiness is weddings and being asked to be someone’s bridesmaid 😀

I have had many tiny & huge wishes. As a child I was very fond of pretty princess frocks, barbies, make up, long hair, nail polish etc. I was a typical girl and I still am. One of my greatest wishes were to be a bridesmaid. There was also another dream. In my childhood, it was to wear the princess frock. The huge fluffy, pretty, long dress with flairs. As I grew up, it changed to the elegant gowns. But in my place, I won’t be able to wear the gown at all. Not even for functions. Gowns don’t suit the kind of functions we have down here. So the only chance was to either go get settled in a foreign country, marry a christian or have a christian sort of wedding, or simply, be a bridesmaid. That would strike off two things off my list at once. The sad part was, I did not have any close friends who wear christians & who would ask me to be their bridesmaid. So this was a distant dream that I had written off until… image I got a message today morning. A friend invited me for her marriage. And then, she threw the bomb at me,

‘And be my bridesmaid’.

My heart was beating like a drums set, my mind was racing and my brain was calculating,

‘Does she think that I’m someone else?’

While my heart was doing the pirouette,

‘Bridesmaaaaiddd! Weeeee!’

Brain, ‘Did something go wrong?’

Heart, ‘Weeee! Weeee! Weeeeeeee!’

Brain, ‘Maybe she really thinks I’m someone else.’

Heart, ‘Gowwwwnnn! Pretty… long… gown!’.

Brain, ‘It’s costly you idiot!’

Heart, ‘I might go for manual labour – ploughing the fields and selling the harvests – for a month.’

Brain, ‘So she did call me, really.’

Heart, ‘Weeeeeee! Bridesmaid!’

That was the last pirouetting since my heart fainted due to overload of happiness. Hell yeah! I don’t know if I can make it to the wedding, I don’t know if I can afford the dress. But I felt happy about being asked. I had written off even the possibility of being asked. And when I know that it is possible, I feel happy. I will wear a gown, I will be a bridesmaid.

Not necessarily this year, not necessarily for this marriage. But yes, someday! 🙂

Help Me Dear Readers And Fellow Bloggers :)

This is regarding the earlier post I wrote about the Flower selling PaatiFor those who did not have time to read the entire post, here is the gist.

At Palarivattom, Cochin, I saw a paati selling flowers. She looked very old and tired. I bought some flowers from her and started a conversation. Over two visits, I got to know that both her sons passed away. Her husband was sick when I spoke to her the first time. However, in my next visit, she told me that he too had passed.

My Flower Seller Paati
My Flower Seller Paati

She has some debts that sum up to Rs. 10000 to be repaid. And hence, she traveled all the way from Coimbatore to Cochin on Sundays and Thursdays and sold flowers. At an age when she needs to be cared for, she was getting baked under the sun.

When I asked her contact details, she said she did not have a phone and asked me to lend her a old handset if I had any. I told her that I would inform her about the same. She also told me about how she got her eyes checked and didn’t have the money to buy spectacles.

To read the full story, click HERE.

My questions:

  1. I decided to get her a phone. But I was wondering about the SIM card. Since she is travelling a lot, there is a chance of her losing the SIM. If I am to get it in my name, I believe that would be a huge risk. Do I have any other alternative (In case she has no IDs)?
    For those concerned, I just want to help her out. She travels alone and apparently has no close relatives, I am worried. For those who think I’m crazy, you may ignore this post.
  2. I would like to collect some fund and help her repay her debt (At least a portion of it). Do you think it is possible through my blog?

For the skeptical ones:

When I was on the hunt for a good handset, a friend asked me,
“You just spoke to her once and believed whatever she said?”

I believe many of you might have that question too.

Firstly, I don’t believe that any mother would make up a story about her children’s death.

Secondly, she is a very old lady who is working hard. Assuming that she wasn’t truthful about any of the above, I don’t lose anything by giving her a phone. But on the other hand, if she was genuine, I would be helping her somehow. I am only helping someone trying to help herself.

Regarding the fund, again, let us assume she is making up a story. I buy stuff online frequently. Things that aren’t a necessity for me. For an old lady who works to make ends meet, I could sacrifice a top and lend her that money. That is not a great loss for me. But, it would be a great help for her. Whether her story is true or not, she needs the money more than me. If there are people who think like me, they may contribute. There would be no pressure. 🙂

Tresses – Thick, Long, Beautiful and Lost

They laughed, waved,
smiled and toiled.
They danced in the breeze
and reflected her turmoils.

They were stared at, they were touched,
some gazed at them, awed.
For the beauty was rare,
of such tresses long, strong and thawed.

Anger pulled at her hair,
With his arms brawny, he hauled.
He curled them around his fist,
and hit her against the wall.

Envy leered and sneered,
and held gently her tresses.
With a smile of deceit, bit by bit,
he snipped them as he caressed.

With the passing years,
her head ached with the burden.
Of illness, pains and aches,
and her tresses adding to them.

Envy, Anger and sickness,
Never sullied those beautiful thick hair.
They grew every time,
quick and with a newly found vigor.

Until he came along,
Uninvited and never to leave.
Not a strand did they find later,
Envy, Anger and the pain peeve.

For the tresses fell & never grew,
as long as the guest remained.
And to shun him, they had begun
radiations that had her hair drained.

Inspired by the life of someone I know. She had long, straight, beautiful hair that grew so quickly every time it was trimmed. She was subjected to a lot of domestic violence and her hair was what her husband used to torture her. People used to be very envious of her hair and force her to cut them off when they got a chance. As if this wasn’t enough, she was diagnosed with cancer. By the grace of god, she is well now.

Image courtesy: legacyeducators.wordpress.com

The Container that is me.

Weekly prompt: Boxes, tanks, wrappers: for this week’s Photo Challenge, show us something that contains something else.

 

The facade

What better container can I show you apart from myself?
Would you believe that there is a sea raging within me?
That the molten lava deep within me boils,
sending waves of fumes that cool, before they reach the surface.

That when I said ‘No’, I really wanted to say ‘Yes’
but sacrificed it for a greater good.
And when I said, ‘yes’, I really didn’t want it,
but said so for your happiness.
And sometimes I said it so that you would force me a bit more.

That when I was raging and fuming,
I was weeping from within.
When I was smiling, it was because,
my pain was beyond tears and manifested as a smile.

That when I was expressionless,
it was because I was too happy to talk.
And when I said everything was OK,
I was falling apart.

This post is a part of Daily post prompts.