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Sounds a bit weird, doesn’t it? Well, what I am implying is not purdah in the archaic, Draconian sense of the term. That a woman is prohibited from interacting with or appearing before “stranger” men (not related to her either by blood or by matrimony) Alternatively while stepping out on the streets she must thoroughly drape herself from tip to toe in order to shield herself from the gaze of lecherous men and/or avoid lewd remarks from bystanders or passers-by.
On a personal note, I harbour reservations against trades people, workers, shopkeepers hawkers vendors et al. Why? Because many a times certain members of these categories ogle, gape at girls and women (including me) pass lewd remarks, scratch their crotches…there are obscenities galore.
Secondly, through the entire scorching (often sultry) summer season I only dress in spaghetti tops or sleeveless vests and hot pants while at home, neither seeing people nor entertaining. Considering my age and social status, (ageing mom of a grown up kid) it would come as a shocker to most people. Let me confess that they offer utmost comfort. And I suppose I do have the right to be comfortable.
Now as is the case with most households, trades people and workers appear at our front door from time to time. The list could be fairly long: from the courier boy, gas cylinder delivery guy, plumber, the press walla, to women vending steel utensils, fund raisers for local events, or maali (gardener)-on-wheels and so on and so forth. I don’t need to worry when the inmates happen to be home or the maid has come in. They manage to handle the visitors rather efficiently.
However the real problem crops up when I am home alone and ‘thus’ scantily dressed. So What do I do? One, I shout out asking them to wait while I make a dash for my nightie or house coat. The patient ones stay put till I reach them. Others walk off grumbling. At other time I peep out from behind the door, enquire about their business, ask them to dump the stuff , packets bills etc on a side table nearby. And when there are certain big jobs to be undertaken indoors, I allow them to come in and subsequently withdraw to another room thus erasing possibilities of prying or whispering.
I am sure many people may tend to disagree mock and scorn my attitude. But let me reiterate , I do this solely to maintain decency
Am a trained and experienced features writer with 25 plus years of experience .My favourite subjects are women's issues, food travel, art,culture ,literature et all.Am a true feminist at heart. An iconoclast read more...
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If her MIL had accepted her with some affection, wouldn't they have built a mutually happier relationship by now?
The incident took place ten years ago.
Smita could visit her mother only in summers when her daughter had school holidays. Her daughter also enjoyed meeting her Nani, and both of them had done their reservations for a week. A month before their visit, her husband told her, “My mom is coming for 4-5 months!”
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Trigger Warning: This has graphic descriptions of violence and may be triggering to survivors and victims of violence.
Do you remember your first exposure to an extremely violent act or the aftermath of a violent act?
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