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Cinderella Probably Just Wanted A Night Out And We Saddled Her With Prince Charming

Girls and women are breaking stereotypes everywhere, and unapologetic about achieving what they need to, even in the face of patriarchal strictures.

Girls and women are breaking stereotypes everywhere, and unapologetic about achieving what they need to, even in the face of patriarchal strictures.

At the last day of college, a party was planned. It was a moment of pious hopes coupled with dilemmas. The joy of successful graduation was accompanied with queries of what next!

As I stood in front of the mirror I realized that transitions are always tough. My warm blanket of thoughts was unraveled by a voice, “Going to the party is fine, but just come before 7 in the evening.” I surrendered to the instructions because they were nothing new to me.

As I was leaving, I had a glimpse of some TV serial where the mother said, “Don’t you know a daughter needs to be home before it gets dark?” Yeah, the irony of it struck my mind, and I took a close look at the idiot box to realize that the serial depicted the story set in the pre-independence era.

The phrase was familiar to me though, and so was its meaning. Time certainly seemed to have paused for it, despite passage of more than half a century.

To surrender to these instructions does not exactly represent the culture. It is all based on mindsets. As I drove to college, many thoughts engulfed me. There are undoubtedly grave reasons that compel a lady to run and rebel, and it is not always the so called ‘ladke ka chakkar’ (a love affair) but there might be something beyond.

Why do we forget that Cinderella probably just wanted a new pair of shoes or a night out, and we gave her Prince Charming! What is the need for someone to hold our hands, when we already have two of our own? The entire quest is to rediscover the essence of freedom.

There are dreams to follow to the North Pole, to see the rainbow from a hill top, to travel with a stranger, to trust the unknown, to befriend someone out of one’s community, to replace the gold jewels from a tiara with the flowers plucked from a secretly visited garden, to sit still from dawn to dusk and later lay beneath the sheet of stars. There are dreams where there is no lust but love for one’s own selfThere is the quest to explore not only these places, but an undiscovered soul.

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Is this reality or just me questioning the cultural taboos?

Suddenly a jerk on the road made me return to reality. I realized that I had reached college and in front of me I saw a group of young ladies graduated and flouting their degrees. Holding the degree in the hand made me feel ‘free’ as if I had earned my escape from the world of cultural taboos, towards becoming a self-aware, self-made & self-discovering person. I could create and dwell in my own realities.

I underwent a sudden transition in my train of thoughts as today the aura across the college showed me a new world. I rejoiced, because undoubtedly, the time had arrived where we have moved ahead of the era where daylight is no more a time limitation. Anklets are no more barriers but a fashion trend. Victorian scarves are not a symbol to restrict a woman but to shed off limitations. Stereotypes are broken, cultural heritage might have remained the same but mindsets are changing. Women have emerged to be independent and powerful, and becoming more so every day.

Forget about tiaras, women are now adorned with self earned crowns. Strangers have become their best friends with lost identity regained. Since their dreams are beyond horizons, butterflies have evolved as fireflies to eradicate the darkness of night. Today Cinderella does not need those shoes anymore, or a Prince to protect her.

On the contrary, the world is under her heels!

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