I see the eagerness in your eyes and dumb little expressions to be entertained by an enthralling tale of how one person lives his entire life amongst unbeatable odds. But given my resentment of tradition, and mine being that of winning, I will slowly crush your happy spirits with a new tradition.
Once upon on a time, in a “demon tale” setting, lived an entire sex that was unheard, ignored and dominated. There is a lie hidden in this washed up excuse for the first line of the introduction. Let’s see if your eagerness persists in finding out the lie. Whom am I talking about? Not my sex, but the other. Females.
There are times, moments when I give into my vices and peep into other people’s houses. I eavesdrop what should not leave the sanctity of the holy house, where the voices of the women are lost in the echoes of the roar of the men.
She asked to be a part of the household, she was turned away. She wanted to go abroad, she was rebuked. She wanted to study more, she was laughed at. She wanted to venture outside the house; she was locked in her room.
Like I believe, everything is a gift and a curse. This one fine walk in the park, I peeped into a hole, five, or maybe six inches in diameter. What I saw still haunts me. It’s like a bad habit, keeps on coming back. I remember it like my mother’s lullaby.
There was shouting, loads of it. The man screamed of how their daughter will be happier marrying into money, as though happiness lies in paper. He stated like a king of the medieval times of how a woman had no place studying in this world, to not be in the court of learned men except beside a king. He spoke like Scrooge what a waste of money an education will be.
The woman tried to raise her voice but couldn’t. She was cut every time in between. She couldn’t for the fear of reprisals. She spoke in a hushed voice about the inappropriateness of his decision. Yet even with all the words she minced and mumbled, her voice was lost in the echoes of her husband’s roar.
In a corner stood their young, beautiful daughter of say twenty three. She seems scared, a bit shy and timid, resigned to the inevitability of action and consequence.
The thunder grew louder and it started raining insults, potshots at the dignity of the other. Not being a man who loves getting wet, I continued on my original path.
But I believe for once I might have liked seeing how such a cold rain feels. How the drops stickle down the cheeks and how the body shrivels and then opens up to the rain.
And the lie I talked about? It’s not once upon time, it’s now upon a time. Happening right now, around us all, as we speak, breathe and live.
I wrote this story as a piece for one of my classes back in 2014. This story deals with the various issues that women have to deal with in India, such as not being able to wear what they want in public, lest they get unwanted attention, girls being unable to study further because their parents want to marry them(the case i write about in this story), having to give up on their dreams for their marriages(also dealt with here a bit) and being unable to voice an opinion in the household matters among many more.
Even though this is really saddening to see, there is luckily also a wave of change, with parents, especially in urban areas becoming more forward and open and supporting girls more and more in their endeavours.