My chauffer recently suffered a tragedy. It brought him a scar that he would be compelled to bear for the rest of his life. No surgery would ever relieve him of the ill fate that he would have to now carry forever!
The tragedy was the birth of his second baby- a girl. A girl who would, most certainly grow up illiterate. Soon, she would be married off with a heavy dowry. Later, a victim of domestic violence, she would end up as a maid…perhaps in my home. So, there was another addition in the miserable group of hopeless maids of my gigantic condominium!
An year ago, I did not know the meaning of the term ‘Gujjar’. Today, at Delhi, it defines a particular group of people for me. Almost every second car is labeled with a ‘Gujjar’ tag behind it. To those, belonging to this community, it defines their macho selves. And for me, they bear a signal of potential danger. However, I would never know or realize the individuality of any of these men!
That is exactly how we perceive ourselves today! Our community tags our personality; social perceptions dictate our affections and convention eclipse our own ideas. And our own selves, our beliefs and thoughts are never given a chance even.
We are shackled under the clutches of a social order that we dare not break. Now, I’m not a feminist. Neither am I a male chauvinist. In fact, I do not feel the need to even align myself to any particular label of thought process. I’m just an ordinary individual with ambitions and desires to fulfill. I have my own way of seeing the world.
Yet, the society wants me to even look at myself the way they want to! My mirror is not my own conscience. My reflection comes through what the society perceives me as.
I’m a student of law. I had stepped into an excellent law school with an idea to interact with the emerging and dynamic opinion leaders of the future. My hopes had disappeared too soon as I met another bunch of social robots. They were all struggling to fit themselves into their pre ordained conventions. My world hates new ideas!
Clad in their perfect spaghetti straps and flaunting their cleavage, women today, feel free of all oppression. No one realizes the disguised social brand that still prevails to view women as their objects of possession.
There is now, this increasing need for a woman to step into every sphere of life and explore the unconventional paths. Yet, she still must confirm to her conventional identity. She is still expected to overtly exude her sexuality. A woman, even as she takes over the world, feels this urge to position herself as conventionally capable too.
Thus, it is not adequate for a woman to be just a good lawyer or an economist. She also has to position herself as a fantastic cook, a great homemaker, the perfect wife and of course, a prospective model. She continues to live with this increasing pressure to live up to the expectations of the society. Today, feminity is all about being a complete package that satisfies social fantasy. In fact, she is like a smart phone, the more number of ‘apps’ that she nurtures, the smarter she gets.
On the other hand, a boy gets raised with a similar oppression though coated with a brighter paint. He knows that as soon as he graduates, he must find a ‘job’ and be the ‘bread earner’. He must then be ready to ‘raise his family’. Needless to say, society will definitely define his every private relation until he rests in the grave (which shall also be another social decision). He can never dare or choose to break this chain that he falls a victim to. In the loudness of the world and its opinions, all our thoughts get lost somewhere. They get buried so deep in the heart that we are afraid to whisper them to even our own selves. And we continue to flow with the whims and fancies of those who control us. Our life begins with orders of the family and ends with the doctors’. We have forgotten to love…yet, ‘marriage is a necessary institution’!
But tell me, who are we faking to? Don’t we all know that the smile you give every morning is artificial? You are not grumbling at the world and it’s miseries, you are struggling in your own monotonous mediocrity. You do not hate rebel ideas, you envy them! You lost yourself in the stereotypes of man, woman, gujjar, Jat and now you try to hide behind these shields.
And all you feminists there! Why blame the men, when you present your own selves as ‘dishes’ to them? Why blame your husbands when you try to turn out as the ‘goddesses’ of society. Isn’t it obvious that anything short of a goddess would project you as a ‘bitch’? You are most confused about who you are, not the men! We can perhaps, talk feminism later! Can we discover our individuality first?