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A feminist outlook on life is essential in relationships, becoming a smart feminist might be the best way to go about it.
As the bus reached Kalimpong, Sia was jolted out of her sleep. Nani’s place was not far off. With a bag on her shoulder, she started walking while remembering the beautiful days spent in this small picturesque town.
Nani had been one of her closest friends since childhood. While growing up, she had admired Nani’s choices and views about life. Being the only child, she was always overprotected by her parents and felt immense pressure to excel in life.
Nani was nothing like her own mother. She encouraged Sia to climb trees, ride bicycles, and drive cars. “Sia, there is nothing in the world that you cannot achieve. You have to choose what you want to achieve,” Nani always told her. Her pearls of wisdom helped Sia through ups and downs in life. So Kalimpong was an obvious destination when Sia felt constricted and depressed in her marriage.
After dinner, Sia settled with a cup of green tea on her favorite couch in Nani’s room. It had been almost a year since she last visited this place before her marriage and there was a lot of catching up to do. “So, how has been the honeymoon period or has the reality sinked in?” Nani asked bluntly.
Sia smiled. “Nani, you always taught me to take risks, push myself, and go after my dreams. Being a girl never really mattered. But in a marriage, being a girl matters. There are certain expectations, and out of love, a girl tries to fit into those ‘big shoes’. Over time, love goes out of the window while expectations turn into responsibilities. And those big shoes do not really fit. It hurts somewhere deep when my feminist views on marriage get misconstrued,” she complained.
Taking her last sip from the cup, Nani smirked. “Sia, do you remember how you used to manage your parents when you came home late during your college days? Or how you handled the warden while sneaking out of your hostel at night? You could always spot the loopholes to enjoy your life without breaking those curfew rules. In marriage, the walls of patriarchy has passed down from one generation to another in form of customs, expectations, and responsibilities. Those walls would crumble away gradually but not before you find loopholes to weaken them. Use your wit to identify those loopholes while managing your relationships,” Nani explained while opening a bottle of wine Sia had brought for her.
“This is really good stuff, fits perfectly for my old tastebuds,” she commented after taking the first sip. “Talking of fitting in, never try to fit in those ‘big shoes’. The more you try to fit in, the more they expand.”
Sia listened intently. “It hurts when people talk of equality but do not treat two individuals in a marriage equally. I have earned the title of ‘Angry Feminist’ in the family,” she laughed ruefully.
Nani smiled. “Hypocrites,” she muttered. “It seems things have not changed much since our time. Sia, do remember that proving your point and asking for equality do not necessarily call for nasty arguments. Be a feminist but know how to go about it without losing your equanimity or sense of balance. You need not to give up your ideals or let your relationships go away. Find out a midway and say cheers to life. Be a smart feminist!” Nani said, holding her glass high.
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