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She could speak now. She found a way. For once, the woman in me just gave a lovely radiant smile. For once, she was her true self- just the woman she was!
When I was a little girl, I heard fairy tales with Prince Charming kissing princesses to life, rescuing them out of their forlorn lives and Knights in Shining Armour saving them from dragons.
You are not strong, a man will save you they said.
The woman in me whispered “No, you are stronger.”
As I started to listen to mythology, I saw the Sati Savitris, the Sitas, and the Draupadis
You will a symbol of sacrifice and devotion, ready to be sacrificed at the of altar man’s ego. Sure we had the Durga and Kali, but even the Goddess Laxmi sat at Vishnu’s feet.
The woman in me whispered “No, you are not a Goddess, just be a good human being with self-respect. You will tell our untold stories someday.”
Sit with your legs together, Don’t wear shorts, Hair… so short… like a boy?
You are a rebel. Behave like a good girl
The woman in me whispered, “Let it go. You don’t need to prove anything.”
No, you can’t go abroad to study on your own. First get married, then do what you want.
You have to get married in the right time. Education can be delayed
The woman in me whispered “You are smart. If you persevere, you can do it.”
Arre! What has your mother taught you? Can’t even cook the vegetables properly?
Never mind that you are as educated as my son and the fact that your son can’t make a coffee. If you can’t cook , you are not a great wife, and that is of course, another woman’s fault.
The woman in me whispered “You have learnt Seismic Analysis. What is the big deal about cooking? Just master it”
I got a new job in a new city. It is a great opportunity
And we are going to move. You are newly married, it’s important to stay together!
Two years and no kids yet. This woman is career minded..must be doing some planning.
Trying to plan your career is selfish. Your primary job after marriage is to produce kids to prove you are a woman.
The woman in me whispered “You are close to that next promotion indeed. But your biological clock is ticking. May be you can get flexible hours and work from home?”
Oh a daughter? Never mind, the next may be a son. He will carry forward my family name.
Really? Who will produce that son? A woman! Are you even thinking straight?
The woman in me whispered “Go ahead. Raise your daughter in a way that the world will remember her name!”
Wow! A son. Good. Your family is now complete!
And what if I had a daughter next, would my family be incomplete?
The woman in me whispered, “Thank God it is a healthy baby. Now treat him just the same as your daughter.”
“Mother’s love, it’s sacred!” “You are on a break? Good! Only a mother knows what the baby wants!”
Yes, because she is sitting by the baby’s side day and night. If the father, or the nanny did it, they would know too!
The woman in me whispered “Oh Come on. Take in this pure unadulterated bundle of joy. He will grow up soon.”
“It’s my son’s annual day. I need to take a couple of hours off. My daughter has to get her shots, need the afternoon off.”
That means you will work late in the night. And again have a tough time scrambling up in the morning at 5 am to make those lunch boxes.
The woman in me whispered “Oh you are a superwoman. You can stretch yourself.
“Mama… my box is missing!”
“Did you buy that green crepe paper for my project?”
Yes, a mother can find anything even if she is asked it at 11 pm! I was glad to be there for them. But let me teach them more independence and discipline!
The woman in me? She was too busy juggling a home, two kids and a part time job to even whisper!
“Look mama! I have come first in this book review contest. I am going to be a writer!” said the daughter
The woman in me brightened.
She started to blog. And she could speak now. She found a way! And was free, liberated and happy.
For once, the woman in me just gave a lovely radiant smile. There was nothing to adjust to, nothing to rationalise, nothing to do because of her role as a daughter/mother/wife/daughter-in-law. For once, she was her true self- just the woman she was!
This article is dedicated to all women, whose lives go through such significant changes and challenges in their roles. Yet they do it all.
First published here.
Picture credits: Canva
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