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They were stupendous and they could make their own destiny! They didn’t need anyone else to do it for them. Their happiness lay in their hands.
Here is the first winner of our August 2017 Muse of the Month contest, Anupama Jain.
The cue for this month was from the movie Angry Indian Godessess. Indian women are policed and shamed for their choices, whether it is the kind of clothes they wear, or other things they do – woe betide the woman who smokes! And this is not just in their homes in middle class societies – it is everywhere, even in case of supposedly ’empowered women’. What women want is freedom from this and be able to make their choices without being judged.
Sita aka Vaidehi sat staring at her fb account, on her laptop. The status-updates with the accompanying lovey-dovey pictures, had already started flooding the cyberspace. The dailies were strewn around her, with all the ads torn and crumpled. The surfeit of red hearts, dark chocolate hampers and diamond discounts was nauseating. The deluge had just started.
“VDay! Uff! sounds more like a Venereal Disease Day! This hoopla is beginning to get to me. I need to head out before I completely lose it.”
She then immediately created a whatsapp group called ‘USlayGurrl’ and started adding members. Draupadi, Yashodhara, Rukhmini and Radha were the ones to get added and as an afterthought, Urmila was added too.
The newly formed group then decided to head for a coffee, soon.
But first, Mani-Pedi, facial sessions with a trendy haircut thrown in, had to be taken. All the mandatory dressy issues with color codes had to be sorted. They would be instagramming later, all about their date. They had to look dishy with their perfect crimson pouts in place.
On the appointed day, after the initial small-talk, they soon settled into a no-holds barred, soul-cleansing chatathon, once their orders were placed.
Sita went first.
“Love needs to be immediately shoved. The pain is too much to bear. About this V-Day..”
She was stopped mid-sentence by Panchali aka Draupadi.
“I haven’t decided yet, with whom to go. It is actually the turn of the Twins this year but my heart is still stuck on the Brave-Archer. The Twins need to be constantly supervised. The Brawny-One is forever flexing muscles and is into titillating skin show. Pretty off-putting at times. And as you know, the Wise-One is always pontificating. Choices! Choices!! To decide sanely, when the world has put you under its magnifying glass, isn’t easy at all!”
As Sita sulked, the next sister, Yasodhara, chipped in.
“At least, you have options. Saving the World meant more than me, to my paramour. Mine has gone in search of spiritual salvation leaving me, all high and dry. You know what I mean.You see, deep down..”
Rukmini took over.
“ Look! I have seven more wives to contend with. I am fed up with the roll of dice thingy. Somehow, Satya gets it in her favour! Always!! I think she borrows her dice from Shakuni Mama. I am so done with playing ‘Ms Goody-Two-Shoes’, the role model of the to-be-wives!”
Radha piped in, next.
“Gurrls! Stop whining! You are all legally wedded wives. I have to be happy with those stolen evenings. If I am lucky, then some nights…that is if these wives ever leave Him. Bhakti Huh? I want some Rakti too! Rakti you know? But I’m put on this puritan pedestal, you see! So I cannot deviate from my set script.”
Sita was indignant now. She thundered on.
“What about my story huh? First of all, as soon as we were married, HE decided to get noble and all, gave up on the throne, which was rightfully his and sauntered off to the jungle. I thought, it would be nice to have Him all to myself and I followed Him. Younger brother, Laxman had to play the spoilsport and he tagged along. Then this Ravana kidnapped me. Never had a moment’s peace. Talk about killing the romance! Plus, the added fringe benefit of listening to the vacuous talk, all around about my chastity! He had it easy, I tell you!”
Obviously after this pointed bard, Urmila wasn’t going to keep quiet!
“Pipe down sister! The same brother, put me to sleep for 14 years. Apparently, for my benefit. No conjugal benefits though. So don’t you go calling Laxman names. Let me finish doing the honors first.”
While the ladies, bared their souls to each other, Kunti and Gandhari, seated nearby, were catching up on good old times.
As is the practice, they couldn’t help but overhear.
They quickly dragged themselves in and joined the party quite uninvited and went about dishing out time-tested gyaan.
Old habits die hard you see.
The bold and gold Kunti was unstoppable.
“ I could mesmerize anyone I liked, which I did too, but then I settled to watch over the kids, when a moment of insane amor killed Hubby dearest. I had to bring up my Souten’s kids too. The elders grudgingly gave me my due after a lifetime’s struggle. So you got it easy ladies! Don’t crib”
Now, would Gandhari keep mum?
“Well! I shut the world for him! Life long! And I then sired 101 children!! Just Imagine! Could anyone of you top that? I might have received thunderous applause from all, but can you all understand the supreme effort it took, just to be? God knows, how many times, I wanted to peel the mask off!”
The coffee had gone cold and tasted very bitter.
As they sat moping, with their chins dropping to the table, it hit them collectively.
They were stupendous and they could make their own destiny! They didn’t need anyone else to do it for them. Their happiness lay in their hands. They owed it to themselves and no one could dare take that away from them.
It was their time now.
And they flashed radiant smiles, marched out to “Run the World (Girls) by Beyoncé ” playing in the background, to set the world ablaze.
Live it up, for everyday is a Valentine’s Day, a Love-Yourself Day!
Anupama Jain wins a Rs 250 Amazon voucher, as well as a chance to be picked one among the top winners at the end of 2017. Congratulations!
Image source: pixabay
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Anupama Jain is the author of 'When Padma Bani Paula', a breezy novel about second
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