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But this was not a movie. This was real life. It was unfair. It was cruel. It was ordinary. It was mundane. It was uncertain.
The fourth winner of our August 2019 Muse of the Month contest is Tanvi Sinha.
Mamta looked at the test again.
One pink line. Only one. Maybe there was another one. A little faint. Or was her mind playing tricks again?
She had taken this test before. She knew what it meant. She would bleed again. Month after month. Her body would remind her just in case she had forgotten.
She was not old yet. She was 37. It could still happen of course. It seemed to happen all the time. For other women.
He had been blaming her all this time.
You had a drink that is why!
Why do you have to go to gym!
If only you stopped being so stressed, it could happen!
The sinful three-letter word had become a chore. It was scheduled based on a calendar she followed on an app. She wondered why it was ever considered pleasurable. Is this what teenagers sneaked out to do? Is this what was forbidden before marriage? What was all the fuss about? It was a natural process which had a purpose. No! Not the O letter word!
This process was so ‘natural’ that teenagers got pregnant without even trying.
That women all over the world were fighting for abortion rights because they all had conceived babies they did not want.
That everywhere she went, everybody was flaunting a baby bump. Women ten years younger than her. Women ten years older than her.
Everybody except her. Mamta. She had started to hate her name. What a mean joke it was!
She had been trying her best to convince herself. She had been reading empowering books. Motherhood was not the purpose of a woman. She was so much more..
But what was she?
Did she have a career to fall back on?
No! Despite having an engineering degree, she was just moving across continents for the past seven years as her husband’s dependent. She had had jobs. Yes. But a career?
But she was an author!
Ahh! Who was she kidding! There were three drafts in her laptop of three different books. A children’s book. A love story with a twist. And a horror anthology. None of them published. Not even edited. She did not have the courage to fail in yet another thing.
Her class mates had two kids by now. Some were VPs. Some were country heads. They got comments on their social media pictures. ‘Yummy Mummy’!
She was not a Mummy. Not even Yummy!
No she did not “have thyroid”. She was just overweight. Unfortunately she did not have a reason for her weight. People often asked her how many kids she had. They probably thought she had had a couple of C-sections.
What was her purpose in life anyway? Was she ever going to achieve anything? She used to spend most of her time daydreaming. She would be like a heroine in some movie. The underdog. By the end, she would become this really famous, successful, rich woman. She would be on TV for an interview! People would be clapping for her. Envious of her. And she would give a speech. Which would spite the mean batchmates from her college. And they would play a video of her (non-existent) best friend with tears in her eyes, ‘I always believed in you, Mamta!!’
Maybe she was meant to do something. Something which had not yet started. Or not. Maybe this was it.
But it was still her journey. Her very own. And she would not let anybody define it.
She’ll walk where her own nature would be leading;
It vexes her to choose another guide.
In 2019 our beloved writing contest, Muse of the Month gets bigger and better (find out how here) and also takes the cue from the words of women who inspire with their poetry.
The writing cue for August 2019 is this quote from the poem Stanzas by Emily Bronte, whose 201st birth anniversary just went by – she was born on 30th July 1818.
“I’ll walk where my own nature would be leading;
It vexes me to choose another guide:”
Tanvi Sinha wins a Rs 500 Amazon voucher from Women’s Web. Congratulations!
Image source: a still from the movie Hichki
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