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And then she heard her aunt talking about her to her mother, “But didi, you should have told her. Pink is not her colour. It doesn’t look good on her.”
The cracks on the dried heena in her hands hinted about the deep tangerine tint it was going to leave after she washes it off. “Was it a mistake?” A partly scared Amrita wondered.
Amrita’s younger sister was getting married in two days and today was her mehndi function. She glanced at the reflection of the silk saree, neatly folded, sitting on the top of her dresser. It was nearly ten years old but the design still looked fresh. A lot of beautiful memories came rushing in.
On their second anniversary Amrita wanted to wear a pink saree. It was as if the color always seemed to pull her with some invisible force. So just a month before the anniversary her eyes fell on this beautiful pink silk saree, a limited edition from a budding designer. She fell in love with it. She imagined herself wearing it, the soft fabric against her skin, hues of pink against brown. Without a second thought she had ordered the saree, and before she knew it was waiting at her doorstep for her to make it her own.
It way beautiful than the pictures. Excited and delighted Amrita wore it on the day of their anniversary and sent the pictures to her mother and friends. Everyone who saw her were equivocal about how lovely she looked that day.
“Pink is just the right colour for you,” most of her girlfriends said.
“You look lovely in bright colours.” Her mother had said when she called her that day.
Amrita’s husband Gautam, a man of few words had taken her in his arms when he saw her. He looked at her as if he was seeing her for the first time. Amrita was at the top of the world !
Today she wore the saree exactly the way she wore it ten years back, hues of pink against brown. All the people attending the mehndi function took notice of her. But the admiration in their eyes was missing. In fact it was replaced by something else.
People were talking about her, she could tell. Relatives whispered into each others ear when she walked past them. And then she heard her aunt talking about her to her mother, “But didi, you should have told her. Pink is not her colour. It doesn’t look good on her.”
Pink is not her colour? Ever since she was a little girl she received compliments on how lovely she looked in bright colours. But now ‘pink is not her colour’.
Because now, she is a widow. A woman who lost her husband. And with him she also lost the right to live her life the way she wanted. Society has predefined the life of women. She is everything when she is with her husband, and nothing without him. A widow is supposed to wash off all the colours of the world from her life. She is supposed to spend the rest of her life in the memory of her late husband, grieving. She has no right to happiness.
But people keep forgetting that a woman who lost her husband, lost something valuable. She will grieve. It will take some time but she can learn to live. And she definitely deserves to live, not just survive. Just the way we all do.
But, she needs time.
She needs to get over her loss.
She deserves her choices, happiness and a second chance, like we all do.
It’s high time we acknowledge the individuality of a woman. She plays so many roles in her lifetime. She is a daughter, a friend, a wife, a mother, a teacher. But no single role entirely defines who she is and what she should do. A woman is also a homemaker, a professional, a spiritual guru, an artist, a traveller, a fashionista, a foody. She cannot stop being who she is because she suffered a loss.
A woman who lost her husband is not a corpse. She is still a woman, a human, breathing life, feeling emotions, shaping lives in some way. Let’s not forget that and let her be.
P.S. If you too feel strongly about this please feel free to express your thoughts.
Published here earlier.
Image source: freepix
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