Wish I were a woman. I've been blogging for more than three years now, and none of my posts, even when featured on Desi Pundit, managed to attract more than 20 comments. But Shivani makes a guest appearance on my blog and I get 24 comments in just over 24 hours.
Thanks Shivani, do come more often. This time, you merely said that you see your inner self every time you stand naked in front of the mirror. Next time, maybe you can describe what exactly you see in the mirror. Not for my benefit: I've see you naked a million times, and you've seen me too, so no big deal. It's just that I want to see your descriptive powers. You've told your story well, but if you had described things with a little more clarity, maybe many of the commentators would not have admonished you -- asking you to get a life and all that. Clarity, my dear, clarity.
I know what you go through every single day. You belong to the population which is happy and yet not happy. I can relate to it because I too belong to that population. In fact, everybody belongs to that population. On the face of it, a millionaire who has breakfast at the Taj and then proceeds to play golf with his buddies before flying off to Mumbai or Delhi for lunch might seem to be the happiest person on earth. He has everything at his disposal that a human being can ever ask for. But ask him and he will tell you how worried he is all the time -- either about not losing his millions or how to make them grow into billions.
Your story is no different, Shivani. On the face of it, you have everything that a woman can aspire for -- a good husband who takes care of you, two kids who make you run around but still light up your day, you have a car and a driver at your disposal to take you where ever you want to, and I know for a fact that you recently placed an order for a Louis Vuitton handbag. Many women must be jealous of you, but I know for a fact that you are not happy. And that's because you've lost this precious thing called yourself. If you lose a diamond pendant, there can always be a replacement, but when you lose yourself, it often takes decades to find that self. By then you are a grandmother, and your job is to make the best rasam or mango pickle in the world.
What surprised me was that the men and women who admonished you -- a woman who is barely 40 -- actually compared you to their own mothers. The typical mother, the Nirupa Roy-type, who only makes sacrifices all her life. They hardly saw you as the present-day woman who might be feeling suffocated in the luxuries that life has to offer. If you go by most of the comments your post has attracted, you should be grateful to God for being provided with several square meals in a day and a bathtub to soak in (and also a mirror to admire yourself). Typical Indian mentality, I must say. A man, no matter how happily married, can fuck around and still get away with it, but a woman, if happily married, must mortgage her happiness to her husband and be grateful to him for having given her the good life.
Most people, surprisingly, have not spared a thought about the turmoil you must be going through. You never really wanted to marry the man you are married to, did you? You married him only because you wanted to be an obedient girl. If you had run away then, maybe with another man, the same set of people would have called you a slut. But you were a dutiful daughter, so you married the man they chose for you. And once you married the man, you became a dutiful wife. Once you had kids, you became a dutiful mother. But I know there are times when you wonder, "Why does the woman have to be dutiful all the time?"
That's how the world is, Shivani. That's how it is to women. Learn to live with it.