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Looking at my own life and that of other women in India, I sometimes wonder, what if all the females disappeared one day?
For the past few days, I have been writing a lot of feminist articles. But after I see the plight of women in India and my own condition too, there is nothing else I can think of. India is a country where we pray to goddesses but treat the women in our family like shit!
Yesterday, I asked my husband why he feels bad when his sisters or mother work while I am at home? Meanwhile, he seems okay with me doing household chores all day long and working late nights to finish my office work. His answer was simple, ‘You’re not the only one doing it!’ And it’s true, this is the story of almost every married woman in India.
Well, among the exceptions is my sister-in-law because she has been staying with us for over three years now. She took a stand and told her husband that she will not do the household chores and neither will she stay with her in-laws. They asked her to leave and so she did. But you know what the weird thing is? She expects me to support and live with my in-laws!
I realised yesterday that I am just a servant here who works for free and gives all her earnings to them. Every time I say I am too tired to work or if I fall sick, they simply say, ‘she’s pretending’ and I have to get back to work. I bear half the household expenses and pay the EMI for the flat which is in my husband’s name. Despite that, every day, I am told that this is their house. I am not even allowed to buy anything for myself without their permission, and if I do, it only creates issues for me!
My counsellor, whom I have been seeing for more than a year got fed up of my constant complaining and asked me why I still stay with them. Well, why do I stay? Let’s see.
For one, I am not strong enough to go on my own. And while my parents might support me, I am not sure how much I can depend on them. After I got married, I lost all contact with most of my friends and I do not know where to go. And neither do I have a friend whom I can ask for help!
My counsellor suggested that I take a transfer but what reason do I write in that? That I am being tortured emotionally at home? Which HR or what company would actually care?
There is nothing in my name here and I don’t want to take the jewellery that my parents gave me, I will return it to them. And whatever my husband’s family gave me, I have already returned that. I don’t wear any other jewellery except my mangalsutra, those things only remind me of my shackles.
Whatever savings I had have gone in the down-payment of the flat in my husband’s name. And the rent that comes from the flat, goes to my husband’s family.
More than 70 percent of my salary is spent on EMIs and household expenses. On top of this, a certain amount goes to my MIL every month. This is what she is saving for my younger SIL’s wedding.
With whatever I have left, I pay my travel and personal expenses and I still try to save something from it. I do this to make sure that if a need arises, I won’t, at least, be empty-handed.
However, this is only my condition, there are so many more women right here who have it worse than I do! My neighbour is eight months pregnant and her in-laws still make her do all the household chores. Once, my MIL even suggested that they shouldn’t force her to do it now. But they said, it is like an exercise for her and will help her with a natural delivery! Really?
There is another guy who lives here who got married the third time in eight years! Why? Because his first and second wives couldn’t bear a son. What is this? The 16th century!
I am requesting parents with daughters not to raise them as princesses because they will eventually end up with jerks if they get married to men in India. Or if they marry men raised in this country. No matter how much you educate them, send them abroad, they will end up like slaves and they carry the torture on to the next generation.
You may think I am just venting out, but this is the truth. In India, women are tortured – sometimes mentally, and emotionally and sometimes even physically until they break down. And often, the people who do it are the same ones who have gone through this cycle themselves!
I recently read a book on Wattpad, ‘The First She.’ It is the story set up on a planet where all the females have disappeared and no woman exists. Thus, that civilization is headed towards its end as they are the last ones of their race. Sometimes, I wish the same happens in India too, simply because it might fix things for good.
Give it a thought – a female free India. No nagging, no bitching and no complaining too!
Picture credits: Still from Hindi TV series Kasauti Zindagi Kay 2
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