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I really want to take on all those nosey parkers whose business is my hair, but in passive retaliation I can only write this.
When did the length of my hair makes its way into your nose? How did it, even after I cut it short, reach your nose and go down into your stomach?
Wow, I deserve the Nobel for Physiology and Medicine this year for discovering this marvellous ‘anatomical corridor’. Or was it known to everyone else? My biology teacher never taught me this, she was a monster who made us memorise each line in the textbook by heart, but there was no line mentioning this pathway!
You can verify the factuality of my discovery by checking it up on the internet. Just like you read up about every medical medical malady, real or imaginary. And then go blurt it out to your doctor – that rare breed of humans who have amazingly high level of tolerance for everything and everyone, especially those who plague them with misinformation and wreck their brains.
I may sound like a maniac, but I am no maniac, atleast, not yet. But my neighbour thinks there is something wrong with me, as do many others in my neighbourhood.
They have explanations too, it’s cancer, ‘of the blood’, incurable, eating her brain; it’s mental illness, depression, stress, failed relationship; she’s a rebel, a femin…(ssh, the dreaded F word). Society seems to have one (or many) reasons for why I have short hair. When I, myself have none, I had just got it done on an impulse, without much (any) thought.
But why does my hair cut create such a stir? It’s too short to even notice, or is that it is too short and so they notice? Well, fact time! India is a country, proud of its culture and heritage, and nowhere is it mentioned of a queen, a freedom fighter(oops, only a handful of females we know!) or anyone great woman, having cropped hair.
Illustrated children’s mythology books show Sita with long hair and Draupadi who didn’t tie her hair (they didn’t have hair ties then and maybe she had silky hair that couldn’t be tied, or she wanted to let her hair down-pun intended-indeed).
I have questions, to ask anyone who dares to speak about it to me to my face. But how do I when it’s all a hush-hush, behind my back, and limited to just stares? Culture resides is in the gorgeous long hair of women or what?! And are all princesses born with luscious locks? What did the royal barbers do (only oil massage?)
Did my hair really go all the way across my head and into your nose? I really want to take on all those nosey parkers whose business is my hair, but in passive retaliation I can only write and end this writing with a quote (a preview of a quote to be a quote when I become famous and give interviews – yes, I am a dreamer) myself, “Your nose is best on your face, it has no business in the length of my locks”.
Image source: a still from the film PK
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It is easy to give in to patriarchal expectations from a married woman and lose your self in a marriage, but the path to happiness is in keeping your independence.
Marriage is often described as the joining of two individuals’ bodies, minds, and souls. Upon getting married, you are expected to share everything with your partner, including time, money, and all other aspects of life. Your life should revolve around your spouse from beginning to end.
But is it necessary to spend every waking moment with the spouse? Are you not supposed to have a life apart from your spouse? And do these rules apply only to women or men as well?
Although both men and women may face this situation, women are generally expected to give up everything once they get married. Despite progress in several areas, expecting women to abandon their interests, passions, and friendships to align their lives with those of their spouses is still considered the norm.
The rising numbers of single women choosing this life shout out clear and loud that patriarchy and sexism will no longer break or chain us.
Another book on singlehood? It seems to be the season for books on the joys and freedom of being single. But Demystifying and Dignifying Singlehood: Life Journeys of Single Women Across the Globe by Uma Jain is different. The book does not glorify or glamourise the lives of single women in any way. These are real stories – with the good, the bad and the ugly, all there.
The book tells the stories of 15 single women across the world. A feeling of deep understanding and empathy fills you as you read the book and understand the challenges faced by the women who are single – by choice or chance. Some of the women chose to be single because they faced discrimination and even abuse as girl children. Some others had abusive marriages and sought divorce.
The tag line ‘Crafting pathways on rough terrains’ on the cover page is enough to tell you that this is a serious take on the issue of singlehood. If it focuses more on the rough than the smooth, that has been the reality for the 15 women.
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