Why Is Wearing Sindoor So Important For A Married Woman?

Posted by Geeta Rahul Sharma in Sexism And Patriarchy
March 31, 2017

The vermillion (sindoor) on my forehead shouldn’t be the basis on which I’m judged as a wife.

Why do I have to be judged on the basis of the vermillion I choose to apply? Many times, I choose not to put it on, if it doesn’t match with the attire. That’s my choice! I am not comfortable applying it. If the society that judges me has a logical answer to my question, I shall change the way I look at it.

My mother also applies it. I am no one to tell her not to. That has been her way of showing to the world that she loves my father. She is quite religious and spiritual and that’s her way of looking at life. I shouldn’t bother her for her ways or ways that other people have been following for years. I respect those women who choose to put the sindoor as they fear being judged without it. Their relationship with their better halves is not that beautiful and pious it should be. Is it for the fact that they missed something else? I see them applying the sindoor every day. In fact, as soon as they are done taking a bath, the first thing they do, even before covering themselves up properly, apply the certificate of being married happily.

I don’t claim that I am happy. However, I am at least able to talk to my husband like a friend. I can share the feelings of the day. I can sip a drink or two and even ask him to make me a cup of tea if I have a bad headache. Does that mean I don’t love my husband? In a marital relationship, you should see the love that talks and not look at it from the lens of patriarchy.

Vermillion is not something I disrespect. It is my choice. Period! Why don’t you judge me when I wake up at 5 am, make breakfast for my husband and in-laws and then prepare a quick lunch that my husband and I carry to work? Why don’t you judge me when I come back home, dead tired, travelling two hours by metro and then enter the kitchen to cook dinner for my family? Why don’t you judge me when I am on my toes looking after my family during when they’re not in good health? Why don’t you judge me when I invite people over for dinner and they praise the delicacies I prepare? Not to forget, you might be one of them sitting on one of the dining chairs.

It is a shame that we judge women who have a choice and follow it fearlessly. We are quick to force our judgment on others who are working hard to make their family happy and lead a better and successful life. Appreciate those women who are not just homemakers and play dual roles of homemaker and a working individual.