By Gunjan Chawla:
“But, but, I love pink” the little boy said. The people who were laughing were telling him the differences among genders.
Dad took me home and he was holding my hand giving me courage to understand what is going on. I plucked some flowers to smell. He threw it saying “You’re a man.” I was full of question marks.
He further explained, “If you use a handkerchief with a flower print, you’re a girl. If you use one with plain lines, you’re a man. If you cry over silly issues, you’re a girl. If you stand still in tough storms, you’re a man. If you ask someone to pay your bills, you’re a girl. If you pay every bill alone, you’re a man. If you’re good at household work, you’re a girl but if you setup your own business, you’re a man. If you gossip you’re a girl and if you don’t you’re a man.”
His words pierced my soul. I just walked home with the excitement that this conversation ended.
Years passed listening to his heavy taunts over the same issue. But now I am a grown man. I wear a pink-coloured shirt which matches the dress of my daughter and she loves it. My wife and I go out to restaurants, gossip together and we regularly exchange the responsibility of paying the bill and I feel no shame about it. She doesn’t cook very well but I like cooking for her. Whenever she forgets her handkerchief I offer her mine and she carries it proudly all day in her hand.
We end up being puppets in the hands of people we don’t even know .