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As women, we are taught to always be cautious, but sometimes being fearless is important if we are to stand up for ourselves and be someone.
When I was a three-year-old, I was obsessed with my red-coloured tricycle. My parents had a tough time ensuring there were no objects lying on my way while I was riding it. As I grew a little older, I loved looking down the fourth floor by bending over the balcony railing.
You get the drift, my parents had to protect me again, repeatedly asking me to be careful. I was surprised how I wasn’t allowed to do even the smallest of things – right from the consuming street food to playing in the sand at the beach, I’ve received my fair share of warnings.
I always imagined that when I’d turn twenty or even older, I would exercise the liberty of doing almost anything. That I could travel all by myself or that I could drive like a maniac (I never intend to harm anyone). Now that I am a grown up, I realize that my parents have turned even more protective and mindful of my safety.
This afternoon, as I was taking my afternoon siesta, I was consumed by several thoughts. I tossed and turned in my sleep trying to collect my thoughts together. But it was futile. Of late, a lot of things regarding safety have been troubling me. Is it okay to work a little late than the usual? Is it okay to trust the new people in my life? Should I warn my female friends to not hang out at places they’ve never been before? Or should I simply ask my sister not to go anywhere on the weekends? I don’t know! It is a tough call to make and a really silly one at that.
It all began with an abusive phone call from an unknown person. It has been a couple of weeks now, and I distinctly remember how long the phone calls, the text messages, and the stalking went on for. It was bad. It was definitely bad. I was almost confined to the walls of my house, and no matter how many times my parents reported to the cops or followed up with them, there was no solution at all. There were just images drawn in the air claiming the person was caught, the person was away, or the person was just not found.
The fact that the people in control could not do anything about something this small is unfathomable and unnerving. It made me wonder if there is any iota of safety left for women right now. No, do not get me wrong. I am blaming no one out there. With hindsight, I am just referring to the situations a lot of women go through.
Of course, my story is not such an unusual one. It sure happens to a lot of women. If you are a woman and you have an opinion, you will have haters. If you are a woman and you refuse to stop having an opinion, there will always be a couple of people who will try to stop you from having an opinion. I’ve been there. I’ve walked all those lanes, and I am quite certain I will have to walk a lot more.
However, on the really bright side, I have noticed that you find more supporters than haters. People who push you to move forward, to express your opinions and more importantly, to step out of the safety zone to do what you were always meant to do.
We all know that every coin has two sides. If one side is about being cautious and often fearful, the other side is all about being fearless and standing up for oneself. We all need to deal with both the sides in our own ways. In our own time. Because remember the amazing days of childhood when being truly fearless meant balancing what you love doing with a dollop of cautiousness?
And in this process, as women, it is vital for us to reach out to other women out there, to build a stronger community. To create a better space for each other.
Image source: woman at the edge of a cliff by Shutterstock.
Just a storyteller making memories. Curly. Part obnoxious, part delusional. Prefers books to people. Lives for words and coffee. Plans to go on a holiday every month, and fails miserably. read more...
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Mostly Normal is a book of innocence, longing, filial love, angst and acceptance, encapsulating a gamut of human emotions within its lightweight edifice. The book touches the human heart and will stay with you.
Some books enthral you till the last page, and then there are those that you stop reading after turning a few pages. Some books are a one-time read, while you carry some books with you long after you have read them. Then, once in a while, a book hits you so close to home that you find it difficult to slot into any category.
I will put Priyadeep Kaur’s Mostly Normal (BookSoul Reads, 2022) in this last bracket.
At a little less than hundred pages, Mostly Normal is a testimony of the power of words to inspire, irrespective of their length.
Most women do not get to live their lives the way they want, on their own terms. So why should they be tied down in their old age?
Every morning, while dropping the kids at the bus stop, I find a grandfather waiting with his granddaughter. I see him again when I fetch the kids. This has been the pattern for the last few years.
He is seen actively participating in his granddaughter’s activities, from morning and evening walks to attending her parent-teachers meeting, sending her for extracurricular activities to even planning her birthday party. He is admired by all. He is appreciated for making himself useful in his old age. People rave that the doting grandfather is doing his duty towards his children and grandchildren. The much-admired grandfather is also a widower, having lost his wife years ago to chronic disease. It’s also to be noted that both his son and daughter-in-law are working parents.
Every day, the onlookers appreciate his sense of duty and dedication. They say that this is how the elderly should keep themselves occupied. They should bring up their grandchildren while their children go off to work.
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