I went to my uncle’s wedding that weekend and filled my bag with casual clothes and necessities. The first day, I reached and changed into a t-shirt and shorts. My aunt stared at the shorts in disbelief, stood by my side and whispered, “Can’t you change into something more covering?”
When I wore it the second day, my relatives nicknamed me ‘hotpants’, without any guilt.
This is India. Where the wearer of western clothes is criticized effortlessly, where middle aged men stare at young girls wearing skirts and young boys stare at the blouses of middle-aged, saree-clad women. A woman is inferior. And, well, a man is just, a man, right? He gets to stare, he gets to show sexual feelings.
The day this ends, a woman will be proud of her nation. The day a man confirms his humanity and morals, will a woman salute him. All we women wait for is when we won’t need permission to wear what we choose; when we won’t have to avoid the glances and stares of men, when respect for a woman will be referred to existence of humanity.