You raised me. Ever since my birth, you moulded me like a potter's hand on wet clay and I, usually, obliged. I obliged when I realized that suddenly it was weird of me to play in the streets and parks while my brothers still had the liberty. I observed that it was now uncomfortable to wear any shorts at home and, that I had to dry my undergarments out of plain sight and, my tampons and pads were just as secretive and confidential as the sensitive data that James Bond hides from the villains. It was amusing sometimes, like a secret between mother and daughter. But it wasn't as amusing when I walked away from my family and stepped into a car to fulfill my vow of eternal companionship with my significant other.
I obliged and adapted like you had taught me to and I was really lucky that I got someone who understood me in times when I found it hard to express myself. I was luckier, I admit when he went out of his way to agree with me. You see, I am a very ambitious woman. I liked being competitive in class and my studies generally fascinated me. It irked me when you discouraged me from continuing sports as I grew older but my shelter of books made me happy. I didn't mind cooking and doing other household chores with mom but I questioned the absolute necessity of it and I was more than glad when he had the same questions.
You see society, we formed an allegiance, him and I. I did not want to give up on something I had worked so hard for all my life and he supported my decision. I guess that when we became your target, you look at him with odd eyes when he goes out to shop for groceries. You look at me with scornful eyes as I step out of the house every day at 9 AM and come back at 6 PM. It breaks my heart to see how scared you are of change and how you can only appreciate exceptions when they come in history text books. I was in first grade when I dressed up as Jhansi Ki Rani in a fancy dress competition and shouted with all my childish strength "Chamak Uthi San Sattavan Mein, Woh Talwar Purani Thi, Bundle Harbolon Ke Munh Humne Suni Kahani Thi, Khoob Ladi Mardani Woh Toh Jhansi Wali Rani Thi".
I remember the entire hall clapped and my elder aunt had hugged me while whispering in my ear about what a brilliant kid I was. I wonder what changed now as she asks me on every phone call about when I plan to settle down even after five years of marriage.
You really are a hypocrite. You want women to empower themselves and appreciate an act of bravery only in newspapers. You still idealize women who sacrifice their careers for motherhood and judge those who don't. You talk about feminism and don't give women the choice. You want women to go forward in careers but handle their homes at the same time and let me tell you, it's not just women who you are restricting. Restricting your sons to give a hand in the kitchen is not an act of liberating them but only make them vulnerable to survive on their own. It is not feminine to work do housework and it is not masculine to go out. By perpetuating this, you are restricting everyone from their *free will* actually.
When my grandmother heard that I was working while my husband is a homemaker, she just chuckled and said, "Oh, that's what I did too! I went to work in the fields but I also took care of the house. Your grandfather was always away anyway. It's nice that your man is at home". It was ironic that she was more accepting of my lifestyle than some other women of my life who claimed 'modernity'.
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