From a pampered princess to a trifling tragedy, my life has shown many colors that are unlike the rainbow shades I had seen until now.The conflicts germinate in the more simplest things from differentiating between lawlessness to claiming my natural liberties,learning the difference between the urgent necessities and worthy sacrifices ,prioritizing my final freedom over the evident shackles or even differentiating between my absent inhibitions and pride.
So I decided to process all of it in an open letter to all the “Loud -mouth City Girls”as someone once called me.Being one of those bitches in India is a difficult position.Fortunate with a fair economical upbringing but shackled to a conservative country , you sometimes feel like a Outsider. One that speaks the language of its fellow people but harbors and believes in Ideas that are alien to your country.
Your are surrounded by Neelam, Suresh and Chavi but your friends are Kafka, Hobbes and Anne. For even though the former speak your language ,the latter understand your thoughts.Your childhood playmates have been Dora or Goku , even though the rest of them play as Bhim or Hanuman. You laugh at Simpsons and cry on an Anime’s death and as you cry no one can sympathize with you because they don’t even understand what Anime means. None relates to Kafka’s Metamorphosis like you because they don’t know what self-alienation feels like.
As you transcend from a liberal bubble to a conservative one the transition takes on a triangular dynamism ,one that imbibes Assumption-reaction, revelation and realization.But amidst all of this comes the pangs of Identity-Crisis.
Assumptions-In the first stage you are still fresh out of your protected bubble, one that boasted of liberty, equality and justice .You assume its only natural for a human being to be an equal , even in the most minutest references. You have read or heard of the inequalities tat prevail in your surroundings but you’ve never lived them and even when you face them you are backed by the fortunes of your upbringing that you boast of breaking all these norms. Take the feminist view of a woman’s freedom to wear what she wants. If you are a chauffeured lady that is protected by the comforts of your speedy car, you can wear whatever you want or revert back to any passing comment of an eave-teaser.Since you can you assume that is how all women should be bold, fierce and uncompromising as you. (In a Utopian sense they should for what you belief is actually right)But as you harbor that belief you fail to see the contextual relation between an idea and its effectiveness and also at what cost does that rebellion comes.
Realities-So when you step out out those protected heels , you encounter the second stage. The reality-check , where you’re empathized by a few liberals while curbed by the rest. As you walk in your halter-top and get hounded by men , as you almost save yourself from getting raped you feel the realities dominating your revolt brewing a hateful broth within you. Your intellectual dissent on an ideology is now transformed into passionate hatred to this breathing imprisonment. You too now become a pea in the oppressing pot.After anger comes hopelessness, you are impatient for a sudden change and when you fail to make it you feel nothing but hopeless.Cynical in all your actions you vent that anger on the undeserving one.During this turmoil there are a few other factors such as creeping insecurity,low-confidence and denial.
Realizations-If you are fortunate to cross this barrier,after seeing the futility of all the negative emotions and the non-productivity you have accustomed yourself to ,you confront the sad truth and difficult hope.You prioritize your long-term goals to the urgent liberties.You acknowledge that ‘change may affect others but will always be devised by you’.
One of the lines in The Way Back states; “NOTHING IS FOR NOTHING AND THE CAMP’S FOR YOU.HE GETS YOUR ENERGY,YOUR SPIRIT AND YOU FREE THE DREAM OF HIS ESCAPE.”Realting it to the patriarchy as a holocaust camp, the situation stands similar.
No one gives a damn about how you feel unless its juggled in the news or someone makes a movie about it because then they are earning off your emotions or what happened to you.So you when you struggle like a fresh fish out of the water on your call for small liberties and as you are subjugated to give them up, it only feeds their male ego.So wear a burqa if you are forced to but work twice as hard then them to accumulate your resources.Study to win scholarships in prestigious institution,save every penny he throws at you,”use the very fire that once burnt you”.Do all that’s needed but inconspicuously.Don’t cry out how you feel wronged, instead beat them in your court once you are strong enough to.
Sure its questionable what degree of freedom is debatable and which one not but living it in practical shades, I’d say; Weigh the bigger win over small sacrifices.But I beg you to never apply this for the things that matter. I apologize as a women to be not there to wipe your tears when he hits you or when you lay there weeping as he rapes you or even when your lover is killed in front of you. The sad reality is that you are in a miserable world, one that wants you to be a dumb doll that satiates their ignorance,ego and lust that. A punching bag because he’s too insecure to realize his incompetency.They will continue to shout out the women rights but will never allow their daughters to speak their minds.You live in a hypocritical world .I urge you , DON’T FALL FOR THEIR LIES.
You have heard these words again and again and apologies if you find them exhausting but I feel one aspect that is often left untouched is the effect of Identity crisis it brings in you.You do not wish to be treated as a princess but you are also not their comrade.You are breaking through the fragile norms of sexuality but you also don’t understand the term too well.You cut your hair because they say you won’t look pretty but you also don’t know what’s your definition of beauty, You are neither a tomboy nor a girly-girl and you question why these terms at all.You claim your partnership with the fellow men but it hurts you when they mock you behind your back and you wonder what learning do you receive through this little fights.You break their expectations of a women as a dainty flower yet you also feel alarmed by an intended brush of hand.You know you are making yourself vulnerable as you break these small social norms, but you still do it, get hurt by it and get up again to fight again.But most importantly what bothers you the most is when you have to belie your own beliefs in search of the bigger truth.
So as just another”you”I’d say it’ll always be like this. You will never know who you are because you re many things, different from every other other woman and yes if anything makes it easier is the realization that you not a sex but a human.A “YOU” that is unique so its only obvious that how you feel, or the chances you takes, or the things that hurt you are unique to anybody else.Never forget that its impossible to be like anyone else so why not be the “BEAUTIFUL YOU”