The society builds for its members certain kinds of frames in which everyone is expected to fit regardless of their features and their choices. The one who doesn’t, is criticized , tormented, made to be afraid and finally crushed.
Females are always told what to wear and what not. Sometimes I wonder, all that people see in a women is her ‘appropriateness’ ( like if they get sometime off from staring at their skin). It doesn’t matter if you are a girl next door or a celebrity like Priyanka Chopra. ( C’mon its her choice as to what to wear while meeting the PM and believe me she looked just perfect.)
We all are fighting and struggling with it, either in silence or through rebellion. Let me a share a small conservation I had with an uncle who leaves in my neighbourhood. This small talk gave me some sense of satisfaction and I could not help myself from sharing it with you all.
So the scene was that a few students were waiting for their bus in the morning. One of the girls was a wearing salwar suit ( for my foreign friends, its a an ethnic Indian dress) which is actually her school uniform. Her father, who can be perceived as a prototype of men overeaten by stereotypes in particular to “ideal way a women should behave”commented that girls don’t look good in skirts . So salwar suits should be the school uniform of every school. After all salwar suit is the traditional attire of India and we must preserve our culture. And this seemingly casual remark was followed by a long pathetic speech on how girls stand as torch bearers of the movement to protect our Indian ethics. Put it differently how some modern girls are contaminating our traditions with their inappropriate dressing styles.
As he ended there was a spark in his eyes like the one in the eyes of Manga characters. His ears must have been imaging a thunderous round of applause and cheers.
And there stood I feeling the warmth of my boiling blood.
His glance now caught my eyes. He was waiting an approval from my side. I decided to agree with him.
“Yes Uncle. You are absolutely right . Why not? But just one thing, if it’s such s noble task to preserve our culture, then why should we discrimante against boys? Let them also wear dhoti kurta to school. Because as far as I remember trousers and shirts are of English origin.”
And if the matter is something else, then please Uncle be kind enough to keep it with yourself. Thank you!”
His face made an awkward expression that reflected his distaste for my view point but I didn’t care.
Let me make one thing clear, through this post I don’t want to fight for a girl’s right to wear skirts or short dresses, but a girl’s freedom to wear whatever she likes and wants; freedom that she won’t be judged by her clothes. A girl wearing a skirt will not be seen as ‘characterless’ and the one wearing a saree will not be underestimated and disregarded as behen ji.
I am not restricted to my clothes…i am beyond material!
share your thoughts with me and with one another
stereotypes will freeze if we will not break the ice !
Finally I am back. My exams went well and yes I survived them. Frankly speaking , on the last day of my ‘ class 12th board exams’, it was actually hard to digest the fact that they are really over. I mean all the frenzy around this ‘ life determining’ exam had come to an end and the funny part is that I felt some kind of a void in life.
Nonetheless , I am back to normal debarring a few times when the thought of results gives me jitters and then I bounce back to reality with a positive thought that since I have worked so hard, the fruit is going to be sweet.
Let me tell you something that has been brewing in my mind since the last day of my exams. After my psychology paper which was the last one, I came home and called my teacher. We were discussing the answers of some difficult questions and I had all of them right but to my dismay I got one of the questions wrong in Section A which was the easiest section. I was completely disheartened . I was telling myself that “you got that wrong otherwise you had a chance of securing full marks.” I withdrew myself and sat with hung and pale face wondering about the 2 marks I had lost. I felt my heart paining.
But suddenly some kind of a voice inside me said, ” Hey wait! You can’t demean all the questions that you got right for just one question.” This took me to another line of thought and a number of questions and answers started erupting in me.
” Have I defined happiness so narrowly for myself?”
” Yes you have and it’s not right.”
” Today I lost two marks and I am so sad. Later in life I may lose many things. Will then sadness completely engulf me?”
” If things go the way they are right now, yes it will.”
” So then this means that I will never be happy in life because my frame of happiness is too small and rigid?”
” Yes again. Happiness is subjective. It is a reward we give to ourselves. If we can be happy only if we choose se it for ourselves. Happiness can be made so strong that it can overshadow all kinds of pains and remain with us in all circumstances.”
I was no more sad. I decided to be happy for things I have done right in exams. I realised this fact that an answer sheet cannot be perfect, an exam cannot be perfect and similarly life too cannot be just perfect. But the spirit we carry decides how imperfections can prove to be bliss. Happiness is not the result of the perfect, it is the ingredient to a perfect life.
Many of us are driven by motives, desires and dreams but every time things don’t work out our way. But this doesn’t means that we will sit with a hung and pale face. We must rejoice for even the littlest blessing and achievement.
I am trying to rediscover happiness. Help me out. Tell me how do you define happiness or any experience that had left you with an insight about happiness.