I just wanted to thank you for looking after me so well. Even though am not yet born. I know you try harder than even superman – you don’t even let her have that sour tamarind. But I need to ask you a favor.
It’s about boys. Because, you see, I’ll be born a girl, which means, that by the time I am 14, the boys in my class would have called me a whore, a bitch, a cunt, and many other things. It’s just for fun – of course. Something which boys do, and you won’t worry… And I understand that. Perhaps, you did the same when you were young… trying to impress some of your friends. Am sure you didn’t mean anything by it. Still, some of the people won’t get the joke. And finally enough, it’s not the girls – It’s the boys.
So by the time I turn 16 a couple of the boys would have smocked their hands inside my pants while I am so drunk I can’t even stand straight. And although I say no- they just laugh. It’s funny right?
No wonder I am raped when am 21. 21 and on my way in a taxi driven by the son of a guy you went swimming with every Wednesday. The guy who always told insulting jokes. But those were jokes… and so you laughed with them too. Had you known that his son would have raped me you would have told him to get a grip… But how could you know? He was just a boy, telling weird jokes. And in any case it wasn’t your business. You were just being nice. But his son, raised on his jokes, becomes my business.
Then finally, I meet Mr. Perfect. And you are so happy for me daddy because he adores me… and he’s smart with a great job. He’s just like you. But one day, he stops being Mr. Perfect. And I don’t know why?
Wait. Am I overreacting? One thing I do know I am not meant to be this way. Am raised to be strong and independent women. But one night it gets just too much for him. He calls me a whore. Just like you called a girl from the middle school once. Then another day, he hits me. He calls me a bitch sometimes, but still we are the greatest couples right? I love him.. and Hate him. God am confused. I really don’t know what’s my fault here. And one day he tries to kill me.
Dear Daddy. This is the favor I want to ask. One thing leads to another. So stop it before things begin. Don’t let guys call them whores… Because they are not. And one day a little boy might think it’s true. And a 1000 lies can make a lie a truth.
She is a woman, who gave up her surname to accept her partner’s surname. She is a woman who says nothing while another woman (her mother-in-law) shouts at her.She is a woman who sacrificed her desire to study more and complete her education, because her parents couldn’t afford that. They couldn’t afford because the money was going to be spent on her lavishing marriage party, to save their fake repute. She is a woman who bears the unbearable pain during her periods, hiding it from the society due to the fear of getting “judged”, and still makes the breakfast for her children and husband. She – is a woman. Just another woman.
“She wakes two hours early and takes the pain…
But the credit for her work remains the same!
Incredible pressure to juggle work and family
But why no respect? Coz she ain’t manly!”
India might not be the same land as it used to be anymore, where people found pleasure in watching a monkey dance, but it isn’t surely a country who accepts girl as they are without judging for sure. In the midst of growing modernity and the rise of “feminism” in this country, there apparently are so much so many problems that continue to thrive – of course for the women.
Khushi – a small 1 month old baby girl – wouldn’t have been alive if her mother had not fought in silence against those loud voices, those pressure words and coercion she had to go through which made her life a living hell.
“Throw her away! Push her off the roof! Kill her! Are you mad? Are you going to give birth to a girl?”
“Why do they do it? They are gods own creation. They look such cute, baby dolls while they are born. How can someone kill them while they are just in the womb.” – Khushi’s mother
Khushi’s mother had exclaimed that her neighbors provoked her to get an ultrasound and abort the child. Though an illiterate women, she knew female infanticide was illegal. More obviously, she knew it was immoral.
Till the girl gets 5-6 years of age, her unconscious mind and experience of a small span has made realize that she is different from the other sex, that the boy she plays with in the evening isn’t the same as she is, that she likes watching her mom dress up for any function while she tries to imitate her putting the clothes around her body like her mother wears a saree, and even tries to imitate her by sitting in front of the mirror, trying on the new maquillage that mommy had bought from the marketplace, though not able to do it perfectly. Her mom then helps her with it and the nail paint – Oh how happy she gets and smiles while seeing herself in the mirror and trying to shy away from her own self. Clearly a girl in India inhibits this quality of “being shy” from a very small age.
She gets happy when her maternal uncle comes home and brings her the best barbie – the barbie that none of her friend had till now. She feels happy and his maternal uncle pulls her and makes her sit on her lap. Little does she know what her uncle has in mind. He hugs her tight and puts pressure over her waist, until she gets irritated and finally says – “Mama dard ho raha.” Little did she know back then- little did she know that behind the loving uncle’s gift and her holding tight was a lusty predator. She only understands this when she gets a bit old – now does she understand what her “mamu” actually had in mind.
“Mama jaise mujhe pakda tha waise bhai ko bhi pakdo na!”
She now enters that time of her life where things change for her. They find changes in there body and a pain every month. Afraid of the blood coming out while in school and the unbearable pain – she thinks that something has happened to her. Only to know from her mother that this is a normal thing and that she will have to bear with this pain – every month – every year – till a very long time.
Little does she understand why the neighbor holds her more often, why he brings her gift and tries to kiss her when no one is around. Little does the small brain of her understand why does he touch her. Only till the day arrives when she is out in the ground to play – while he calls her and locks the door from inside – Little does she know that the uncle who had been bringing gifts and chocolates for her had such a pervert mentality and little does she know that this scoundrel will try to haul on her when no one was around.
A girl, if she is raped, cannot say this or raise her voice against. Reason? No one believes her. Or no one wants to believe her. She cries, only to hide her tears, till her mother notices that she is living in silence, not the same little girl she knew, who was jovial more often and used to be lively the whole day. When she asks her, the girl refuses to reply and still remains silent. When after a lot of percussion she tells her what she went through, her mother cries and asks her to not say this to anyone.
When the girl crosses her intermediate, she asks her parents to support her as she wants to become a doctor. Her father, a government servant, refutes and says we don’t have money for it. Little does she know how does the same father have money to spend on her brother for his coaching.
“He hardly studies, cheats to pass, he doesn’t like to study, why does father still spend money on his coaching when he even bunks it to have fun with his friends?”
Her aspirations are drenched. She is forced to attend a local college only to complete her graduation she is least interested in. She is compelled to go to college in the bus, when she had asked for her scooter. “Paise nai hai” was the reply from his father. The same father buys a brand new bike for his son.
While she gets in college, a guy makes her fall in love with her. She falls for the small things he does for her, makes her feel special. He takes care of her, makes her smile, lets her enjoy her life, kisses her, hugs her, listens to everything she says and supports her for her aspiration to get a job and join the corporate world. He takes her for interviews in the final year of college, and stays with her till she gets the job. Things seemed to have changed for her.
Changed only till her parents get to know about the job and that she will have to leave her parents place and stay in an alien state. They deny, refuse and ask her to give up her job. They shout at her when she refuses and ask her
“Who put this in your mind that you could have a job?”
They get to know that their is a guy involved, beat her again, close her in a room, stop her food and ask her
“Yahi karne k liye bheja tha padhne?”
“Pata nai samaj me kya muh dikhaayenge!”
“Kya zarurat thi muh kaala karane ki? Aise hi maar deti hume?”
She has to leave the job and she is married off to an unknown. Her parents spents way more money for the lavishing marriage- the money he could have spent to fulfill her wish to be a doctor. He spent it for a day’s false repute building. The unknown sleeps with her on the very first night, and has sex with her. She cannot say anything to him, because according to “Indian marriage system”, he now has the official license to sleep with her.
She gets pregnant, only to realize from a forced ultrasound that she has a baby girl in her womb. Her parents-in-law are against it. Her female neighbor and her mother-in-law, asks her to drop the plan of having the baby, they force her to abort. This vicious cycle continues where it started.
There are so many things I want to point out, so much of hypocrisy that prevails in this society. India is a country where people worship Ma Durga and Ma Kali, and ask her for prosperity and a good life. They are same people who have a bad eye on a girl from a neighbor, merely 12. They are same people who judge her when they see her with a boy in college. They are the same people because of whom a girl cannot ask for the sanitary napkins openly in store. They – are the same people who were born out of a women themselves.
Why this hypocrisy? Why should a women suffer, always , like ALWAYS? Who gave us the right to kill a soul before she is even born? Who gave them the authority to kill someone who is sent by the almighty himself? Who gave her the right to sexually assault her when she doesn’t know what does that even mean? Who gave her the right to judge her for the menstruation cycle? It should in fact be celebrated – something a guy can never do – give birth to a baby, keep it in his womb and take care of it for a period of 9 months – taking every pain when she comes out. Who gave us the right to take her aspirations? Who gave us the right to all this?