It’s the time of the year with a lot of festivals and celebrations and the sounds of Lakshmi puja, Durga pooja have been resonating across the whole country. The goddess worshiping has begun and just like that your mind starts to ponder. It was not long ago that you had been taught of the immense reverence and respect your culture had for women. It was not too long ago that you had felt happy to have been born in a land where women were compared to goddesses.
But as you grew up you saw the working of the system that quite did not fit into your definition of treating a goddess.
You saw women being given a book of pre-defined guidelines, a map of life, if I may say, fit for a goddess. The guidelines seemed quite clear. Docility, submissiveness and high tolerance were some of the ‘must have’ virtues. While success and ambitions were given an okay sign (as long as it didn’t hurt the ego of the opposite gender), rage and stubbornness were classified as an Un-womanly behavior. There was a separate chapter for self defense where you were taught how to be extra careful and cautious when you were outside the confines of your home. There were sketches of the dresses you were allowed to wear and the timings you were supposed to reach back home. Dressing up in short clothing or any clothing of your choice was a big no NO, and the women who chose to wear them were to be fully held responsible if it resulted in teasing/ molestation and furthermore they were to be subjected to some collective humiliation. Alcohol and partying were restricted to the significant half of the society and women found to be caught in such a behavior were to be subjected to beatings by the chivalrous and efficient moral policing service. Women sexuality was conveniently repressed and ignored; and to top it all was associated with her ‘honor’. Every girl child was promised a husband who would take care of her when she grew up and as a bonus was also provided with a brand new family that she had to go start living with as her own in no time. The fathers were advised to pay a lot of money to that family so as to ensure her being happy. You were supposed to ‘adjust’ and live with the husband no matter what because quitting and returning home would mean dishonor to the family. And the guidelines go on.…
But, there were some of you who could not accept the guidelines blindly.
You wanted to be considered just as another human being who could err, who could do what she wants, design her life however she wants to without everyone else analyzing and grading her.
You did not want to be a goddess no more.