Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Hi, I am a girl. And if that was not bad enough, I was born in India. This is what the Americans call a double whammy! Anyway, I thought it is worth writing out my chronicles. There are millions of girls living in India, millions are impoverished and living a life of hell. Many have been molested/raped already those who have not been were killed before they were born. Many are going to die in the name of honor. That demented, twisted contract which entails the men to do just about anything but prevents the women to do anything other that the basic work they were born to take up. This is not their story. This is the story of a girl born in upper middle class India. She is treated equally in her family, except when it comes to making decisions on her life. Her opinions are allowed, just like the cricket commentary. She studies in a co-education. If a boy calls up home, her mother reminds her how immoral it is to talk to boys. She can attend parties, as long as no boys are present. She can shop, as long as she goes with mom. She can work, as long as she comes back on time to cook dinner. She can wear anything, as long as it is not too revealing. No sleeveless please, what kind of girl would want to show off her hands? That would be an open invitation for rape. No way. Not that her mother would let her get out of the house wearing that. Mother would cry, curse herself, and blame the “western” upbringing she gave her girl. However, if there is one thing she can do without inviting offence is – eat. She can eat anything. Or so she thought in her teenage. Her parents are worried she is growing fatter. How will she get married? In this part of the world, this is what any girl is born for – Marriage.


My pediatrician once told me that I have a vague, bored look in my eyes. My mother told him that I was bored by everything ordinary. Years later, my grandfather told me that when I would be older, I would understand that women aren’t equal to men. When I was older, I understood that I need not argue with him to understand that he was wrong. I have been considered the black sheep of the family because, just because, I am a woman and I think. They will never understand that my silence is not conformity, but rather a silent wall that I have created around me so that they cannot affect me. they compliment me on being a good cook or studying well, but not because I think differently. It suffocates me, because I cannot tell them how much they mean to me without letting my guard down and every time I do, I get trampled on. I asked my mother a couple of months back if she would have been happier with a normal girl who would have fulfilled all her duties. She looked at me and said, ‘Hell no, I would have been bored to death.’