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The girls partied like never before, cementing a friendship that was formed and forged in their battle against cancer.
“I can’t believe we made it,” Mala wondered aloud.
“Yes, we are in Bangkok,” said an awed Manpreet.
“Three nights and four days of total fun and freedom,” piped in Mamta.
They giggled like girls and Mala entwined her fingers with Manpreet and she in turn with Mamta.
They stood together thus for a full minute in their suite.
Just as Mamta was about to lie down, Mala said, “No, don’t you dare lie down.”
“Yes, get up. We have things to do and places to go. We are done being tired,” asserted Manpreet.
The ladies were in Bangkok for a very special reason and they had a very specific destination in mind for their first outing.
“So, once we get there, we go our separate ways for a couple of hours and then meet near the entrance again. We then…”
“We know Mannu. We have gone over the plan a thousand times,” reminded Mamta gently.
Once they reached their destination, they disembarked, entered the store and waved bye to each other.
Manpreet returned first to the designated spot. Followed by Mamta and then Mala.
“Ok, so what did you guys buy?” asked Manpreet.
“Let’s all show at the same time.”
Manpreet and Mala nodded.
They were stunned when they saw what each had bought.
“Wow, we all bought wigs,” whispered Manpreet.
“We flew thousands of kilometers to a shopping paradise and ended up buying the same thing,” said a wide-eyed Mala.
“At least our wigs are different.”
“They are different only because we had different hair. Otherwise they are exactly like the hair we had earlier,” observed Manpreet.
They looked at the three wigs and agreed with Manpreet’s assessment.
“Let’s swap them,” Mala said excitedly.
“Yeah, why not?” Mamta’s eyes sparked with glee. “Mala, do you want Mannu’s long straight ebony hair or my light brown bob-cut?”
“Hmm….I think I will try your short hair.”
“Mannu, why don’t you try Mala’s dark curls and I will try yours.”
Each tried the other’s wig. Seeing them struggle with the wigs, one of the staff member came over and offered to help. A conversation ensued and at the end of it she said, “May I make a suggestion. Why don’t you swap these wigs for completely different ones? What’s stopping you from choosing different colors and styles?”
The idea resonated with them. Mala choose wildfire-red bob-cut, Mamta choose a blue-steel soft curls wig and Manpreet choose rose-gold pixie. The store helped them with make-up and cosmetics.
Out stepped three beautiful and laughing women, who were celebrating their win over death. Everything was forgotten for those three nights and four days. They forgot the shock of finding out that they had cancer. Forgot the toll it took on them, mentally and physically; robbing Manpreet of her radiant skin, Mamta of her captivating smile and Mala of her contagious energy. But most of all robbing them of their gorgeous locks. The girls partied like never before, cementing a friendship that was formed and forged in their battle against cancer.
Author’s note: The story is inspired by the photos of various cancer survivors without their hair. It is not the author’s intent to hurt or trivialize the struggles faced by people suffering from cancer.
First published here.
Image source: Unsplash
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I am passionate about books, food, movies and travel. My life-long passion for reading has finally blossomed into writing. Apart from writing for my own blog I contribute regularly to online platforms like Womensweb, read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
You do not have to be perfect. There’s no perfect daughter, perfect employee, perfect wife, or perfect mother. These are just labels created by society, for their convenience.
So here you are, just out of engineering college, having no clue why you pursued Electronics Engineering. Yes, I know, like many others your age, you too were persuaded by your parents to opt for engineering because it supposedly gets you a lucrative job.
Believe me, however strange this might sound, you’ll soon come to realize that a high paying job need not always make you happy. And there are a myriad courses and career options out there, you should definitely consider something that’ll make you look forward to go to work every day.