Woman; what shall we say about her? She’s a beautiful creation of God. Only limited numbers of females who have lived or been brought up in metro cities live an independent life. Metro citizen count is minimal in comparison to women’s overall Indian population, the majority are based in rural & in suburban areas.
Let’s look at the other side of the border – Pakistan. Here life still rules on conservative beliefs, this is clearly traceable through TV serials and of course reports. Even today, liberal women do face this incompleteness at some or other point of her life, but we never know as we still don’t talk publicly. ‘Pretention’ is the commonly adopted attitude.
A Woman’s Life
Her life is divided into parts/stages nothing is complete for her. Her birth is a sign of burden in underdeveloped eastern regions, in early days; people in Rajasthan literally kill a baby girl. The ratio of girls vs. boys is relatively low in Haryana too as per statics.
In her teenage/early youth, she is regarded for her looks and not much else.
Adolescence; If she does not want to be involvde with someone, youth says “She doesn’t have taste, she is nuts” & if she does, the family says, “Don’t be characterless”, if she leaves her love or forced to leave for better match, “She is materialistic bitch”, and if a boy leaves her for his career, “It is required to do so”. Once they are settled in their career, they look for a new beautiful butterfly for himself to satisfy his ego and flaunt to fellow mates “See I own this beautiful lady”.
If she does not want to marry or things doesn’t work in her favor, she becomes sign of barrier/ hurdle for her own family, and if she marries with wrong person, she has been forced to live miserable life with that person. This is destiny/fate.
Signs of Burden and Struggle
Dowry is the price which her family pays to relief from her as a social responsibility and other takes as a privilege to accept her for a lifetime.
If she marries a person who is not financial sound. She has to face the consequence of disrespect/devaluation in her in-laws & even at her parent’s house linking with her hubby’s power of purchase. Common saying in India is ‘Women’s pride depends on the status of her hubby’.
For a husband; his first priority is his family, and she left her parents/relatives for one person who takes her wherever he goes & she has no choice other than to follow him after all he has all rights on her.
She gives birth to new lives, at the cost of her health & life but after that; her hubby says; “You have lost your figure do some workout”, and if she does not want to go for family “She is cruel she has no heart”. Recently I heard ‘If you can’t be the mother you don’t deserve to live on this planet’.
If she sacrifices her career for better upbringing of kids & family. Her teenage kids says; “Mom you don’t understand me, as you sit at home and the world has changed” if she has a career, kids say “Her mom doesn’t love them & have no time for them”, and in some cases they hate her (watch the movie “Tehzeeb“).
If she is non-fertile she is called “Banjh”, but what if a man is “Non-fertile”! She has been expected to take care of his dignity/respect in social by not disclosing this disability publically; but do we treat her equally? If she could not deliver “Son” her man run/demand for another woman for his “Generation”, this more you see in the Muslim community and in Pakistan.
Finally life has reach to last its stage; where she can relax without any worry but not, some another young butterfly enter in life to replace her in her own home as a “Daughter in law”, & she battle for her existence again. “Home” for which she has paid the price as a wife, as a daughter-in- law even as a mom throughout her life. In the end she realizes this fact; “She has No home”, nor as daughter, sister, wife, mom or as a daughter in law.
When Does it Stop
If she happens to lose her hubby at an elderly stage, she deals devaluation in the family due to financial crises & dependable on her son/s for daily needs. Battle of her existence restarted to make life more acceptable.
The story ends, and no one knows what was going within this body/soul, which, unfortunately, does have a “Heart”, and the man says “It’s difficult to understand woman“. How they will, have they ever “Thought of her” or put up “Efforts and time” to understand her. For them, it’s more of body and face than a soul.
A woman has three births in one life or may be more; one is “Biological”, second when she “Marries”, & third as a Mother”.
By Rajkumari Nagpal
Image Source 1 2, contributed by author, 3