Anupama writes a letter to her 18-years old daughter. Read what she has to say.
Gender equality at home can be a mirage for women who find themselves discriminated against by their nearest ones, even when they are in great need.
I have always been writing about patriarchy and how I always let myself be intimidated. Has my life changed? Please read on to know.
Once I married at 31, it was a sigh of relief for everyone. After numerous rejections (thanks to my dark brown skin), I managed to find the boy of my dreams. My husband is the best to happen in my life apart from my childhood with my grandmother. We both work for corporate offices and I count my blessings in having this life as it caters to our needs and the sense of independence is simply great.
As a personal choice, I knew I wanted to be a mother and God blessed me by answering my prayers. I was happy to announce my pregnancy to my parents and in laws. My father was happy that he was going to be a grandparent and so were my in-laws. It was all happiness until my mother enquired, “Are you going to come to my house?”
I was baffled, as I thought hard. I wanted to stay at my parents’ house for some moral support and company. My husband too had sought permission from my parents to allow us to stay for few months and post my delivery we would get a new rented house. However, somewhere, my mom was not happy to have us in her house. The reason being, I was no more a family member and my husband was somebody else for her.
With some polite requests and later with a rent negotiation, my kind mother agreed. She allowed my husband and me to stay in a single room and with a bathroom. We agreed to pay a rent of Rs. 12,000/- per month. My only intention was to have people around me while I worked from home.
At my parents’ house, my elder brother who was unemployed, healthy and highly educated stayed. He was staying in ‘his room’ with all amenities like free food, free stay and free money as well! He often dictated terms to my mother in order to get rid of me from my parent’s house.
I currently have no option but to stay until July 2017 while I await for my little one. When I tried to question my parents that it was unfair I get a third degree treatment, even after I pay my monthly rent, my mother retorted, “You can leave right now if you can’t appreciate our help!”
I came to terms with this reality as my husband suggested, “Please bear this for a few months, and once we have our baby, we will not be a burden to your parents.” I suppressed my angst and just tried to focus on my health and work.
No matter how independent I am, I still am dependent on my mother’s love and dad’s smile to keep me happy.
I wonder if there is no present where the girl child is as important as the boy is. We can only hope for a future with gender equality. May be if I have a daughter, I would give her the importance and gender equality at home that she has a right to, and not subjugate her based on my upbringing.
Image source: shutterstock
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