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When a woman gets a divorce, even her parents often see her as a failure who can't be trusted to take her own decisions.
When a woman gets a divorce, even her parents often see her as a failure who can’t be trusted to take her own decisions.
“Reena, you forgot to shut the windows and switched on the A/C!” Shyla, Reena’s mother was raising a complaint again.
“Mom, it is fine.” Reena did not seem to be affected by the incident. Her father, Ashok was sipping hot coffee, reading through the newspaper deeply, when Shyla interrupted him.
“I already gave the list to the grocery store person three days ago. But he has still not delivered the items. Can you call him again and remind him? Ah, no! You go in person and check with him, please.” Shyla was worried that the stocks at home were running low.
Reena came in. “Mom, I keep telling you we should order the groceries online. Why all this hassle? Rahul and I used to order online. You know the nature of our work. When we cannot go to the shop, we simply order it. Within a day or two, it gets delivered to our doorstep. It is going to be the same brand. Then why should you hesitate?”
“You don’t know, Reena. Online is never good. They may show something on their website but deliver something else.”
Reena wondered how to convince her mother on this issue.
A little later, Reena spilt some milk on the ground while taking it out of the refrigerator. She took the kitchen cloth, poured in some disinfectant, and cleaned the floor.
“Reena? The smell stinks! You should be careful while taking the milk out. Give me the cloth. Let me clean it again.”
“Mom! I have wiped it twice already. Why do you take up the strain?” Reena spoke as her mom was busy pouring water and wiping the place again.
Reena’s mind wondered why her mother was taking even simple things into a serious mode. Yet, she could not figure out the reason behind it.
Their neighbour and Shyla’s close friend, Vaishali came to visit.
“How is your daughter doing? Which course is she planning to take up? Her twelfth-grade marks are so good. She has a bright future in engineering.” Shyla spoke excitedly.
Vaishali sighed, “These days, I do not understand why children behave this way. I too advised her to take up engineering. But she is stubborn and wants to study fashion designing. I told her it can be done as a hobby but she isn’t listening to me. Her father is also supporting her. My words are never heard. I don’t know if I am speaking to the walls. Let me bring her here tomorrow evening. Please talk some sense into her.”
Shyla removed her glasses and placed them on the table. Reena was preparing tea and started arranging the biscuits in a tray.
“What can I do Vaishali? I could not bring up my daughter in the right way. Look! Rahul was her best buddy from college days. We believed they would make the perfect couple and got them married as per their wishes. After living together for a full ten years, she applied for a divorce and is staying here.” Shyla spoke slowly, looking at the ground.
Now things began to unfold before Reena. She understood why her mother was so keen to point out her mistakes. What she said was true. Reena and Rahul were close friends from their college days. They knew each other so well for the past fifteen years. Even after their wedding, life went smoothly for a few years. At some point, Reena realized things were not settling down between them. Unnecessary fights erupted. They talked for hours and together, concluded that the solution was separation.
When Reena informed her mother about the decision, the first thing she asked was, “Is Rahul hitting you?”
This scenario is something we come across often in today’s households. Just because two people are married, it is not necessary to continue in the same way when there is no comfort between them. Misunderstandings do arise at every home. When the situation is such that it cannot be sorted out, it is preferable to go ahead and decide to live separately rather than holding on with all the stress that may turn against them someday.
In such cases, their parents must understand and respect their decision. If a woman is divorced, it never signifies the end of her life. She has a role as a daughter, sibling, a friend to others. She has her career in front of her. She may choose to remarry or stay single. She has her whole life ahead, which it is more important to focus on. If she chose the groom herself and the relationship ended up in a divorce, then whatever she does becomes incorrect. It may be in day to day activities as well.
Dear parents, please stop looking at your daughter through this microscope. She has taken a decision that needs to be first respected and later on, accepted. She lives the way she is. You need to be proud to have raised such a daughter. She is not living for the sake of this society or according to their views. It is her bold decision to stay alone that needs appreciation.
All she needs is your support, love, and care; shower them abundantly to see her as a shining star amidst the darkness in the world.
Top image is a scene from the Hindi movie, Thappad
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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.
As long as teachers are competent in their job, and adhere to the workplace code of conduct, how does it matter what they do in their personal lives?
A 30 year old Associate Professor at a well-known University, according to an FIR filed by her, was forced to resign because the father of one of her students complained that he found his son looking at photographs of her, which according to him were “objectionable” and “bordering on nudity”.
There are two aspects to this case, which are equally disturbing, and which together make me question where we are heading as a society.
When the father of an 18 year old finds his son looking at photographs of a lady in a swimsuit, he can do many things. What this parent allegedly did was to dash off a letter to the University which states: