I am forever indebted to my parents for raising my brother and me equally – and for responding to all those remarks where they were questioned for giving me so much freedom.
Hailing from an educated (and educating) background, my mother takes pride in her strong maternal lineage. The glow on her face is inexpressible when she tells me how my grandmother used to do shooting. And not to forget the male support system in my life – my father! He is the one who constantly tells me to push my limits further and further in the horizon. I was in a ephemeral bubble of safety unaware of the horrors of the big, bad world – until now…
I live in a residential complex where you can find aunties spying on you with their prying eyes. They are blessed by the Lord Almighty to ridicule a poor innocent soul to shreds on any pretext. If you are walking with your ‘guy-friend’, pray to god that you don’t get seen by the judgmental squad. If you ‘accidentally’ rub your shoulders against a boy, then you will a subject of constant scorn for the next two months on their ‘kitty-party’ Whatsapp group.
I feel baffled when these ladies judge my character on the basis of my skirt. And oh – nothing can match their satanically-sarcastic, “Beta vo kya tumhara dost hai (Is that your friend, son)?”. Yes, he is my friend and he might be even more than that. How does it burn a hole in your pants if I am going out with my ‘guy-friend’ wearing a skirt and a crop-top ? My parents have always treated my best ‘guy-friend’ like any other friend of me. If love doesn’t see gender, why should friendship?
But I am proud of my best ‘guy-friend’ for standing by me during all this Ekta Kapoor-esque drama. I don’t even feel the need of mentioning ‘guy’ when I talk about him. I no longer care about those vulture-like stares, those piercing comments and that horrendous laughter when I have him by my side – not to fight for me, but to stand by me as I fight for my self-respect.
Featured image used for representative purposes only.