To live in the society with a raw and unaffected outlook toward people and their behaviour would make you appear as an alien( this reminds me of the film pk ) to the torch beerers of stereotypes (the sum total of whom come to 90%), even I could be one of those supporting stereotypes in the ways apparently unknown to me . The other day I found me telling a friend how the girl standing across us in the lobby was having a manly hair on arms. later went on to realise, what exactly a “manly” stuff is? As we know, We are all creatures with different amount of hormonal fluid secreting from our bio glands and it might result in different rate of hair growth to each next person, I also would appear like one ” manly” being if had missed the last waxing appointment being that “girly” lazy at home with fashion mags and that’s so shitty on our behalf to put entire lady community to shame by coming out in public like that. Come on, ladies are those who grow no hair on body but so much on scalp and uff! That threaded upper lip curves into a fascinating smile , not really wanting men to get fascinated though , that’s not a lady stuff then. We are so conscious of societal approval at every step of our being. Its the story of me as a 14 yo teenage girl with an “extra” broad mindedness , and very “rigid” in not letting other decide what’s right for me to do. My Masi, who had once claimed herself to be a pure feminist , having decided to make the fiance wait for marriage until she got to secure a government job herself, and had been a subject of critisim to relatives due to marrying at age 32, a “too late” phase……so its about me and this lady whom I had idealised since childhood being mesmerised with how feminine her tone of voice is and the womanly her hair style looks. I had reached her house prior 2 months to my board exam slightly with a bad health, to get my mind refreshed in the rejuvenating atmosphere over there in her location. By now, she had left her job and had become a full time homemaker and a doting mom to her 4 yo. As I stepped into the house and grabbed a sit by the corner to the table, my Masi had pointed out ” Rimpa, now you are growing up, you should understand how men perceive girls wearing such jeans or other trousers you are in.We are Indians. If society has set certain values for girls of your age to wear a salwar with these dupattas , its for a reason. You know in this skinny pair of jeans , how visible the shape of your thighs are to men? And how they will stare? If you are going to spend your vacation at my place, am not gonna allow you to be in these kind of clothes.” My response was on automation, the 14 yo me/rimpa exclaimed ” men too wear such trousers right? Being a girl I don’t stare…or as a lady , I guess , you too don’t . So the problem must be with people who stare , not the ones wearing it. And its not that I haven’t noticed street people to stare ,in my incredible India, the point is ,more disgusted I’m with the comment that has come from you as my Masi rather than how their pointless, not-so-important-to-discuss behaviour feels”. That is all I could think of as a 14 and to which my Masi told my Mom that I wasn’t taught how to speak to elders and didn’t have a good upbringing . To both of their surprise I retaliated ,” My Mom being elder to your age , you did not bother to teach your didi about how she should have raised me up , so I wonder how exactly you think you are preaching what you practice ?” Lol, as a result mom had brought me back home next day morning with a storm of scolding have taken place. Now , when am 22yo and an established hotelier , my Masi takes pride to tell everyone how much contribution she did have in my upbringing , and keeps calling me to visit her , since now I haven’t been able to overcome that insult to my mumma and many more complications that followed and thus might do some mental healing first and visit her on my next vacation if only allowed to be in what I always wear, a simple pair of jeans, my favorite.
P.S. This 22 yo now sees it clear that the people change, their minds change with time, we must not give up on our rights and suffer for a mental phase with a related momentary reaction that the other person’s having. Am still learning to recognise those momentary phases from the “14yo rebel me” and I guess we all may from that inner little girl/boy.