My sweet ever possessive fathers, over-concerned mothers and “fatherly” brothers,
You all have made my life very lucky in so many senses. Your love, care and the attention you show every moment makes me the luckiest girl in this world. I cherish each and every memory that I have shared with you till now. I am eagerly waiting for more such moments. I always wonder how can someone think day in day out about me and my happiness.
If I go back to my school entrance days, I still remember how mom and dad tightly clutched my hands while entering the school. Mom was in tears all the way long. Time has flown since then!
The short, intense fights I had with my brother since the childhood (which happen even today) haven’t changed even one bit. But I still remember how he has helped me to complete my assignments and projects and saved me from embarrassment.
I love you all, and will always love you. I know you all are there for me now and forever.
But, I stand here, a confused 23-year-old woman…
It’s been 23 years now, and we have also seen highs and lows in our relationship(s) which of course everyone sees. I don’t want to discuss those now. Instead, I would like to grab your attention towards a more vital issue.
I have grown up to be a young lady, ready to fly with wings spread!
Wait for a second! Wings? Shit, Do I even have them? I doubt. Do they really work? Something wrong with me? Am I overprotected and preserved?
I hope my family hasn’t lost to society’s harsh words and actions. Have they?
Am I acting too weird? But why then does the whole world talk about women empowerment? Too confused? I am also. Some things baffle me and leave me to think about myself. It took me some time to come up with a few answers.
Let’s start from the start
You taught me to help others and when I did, you judged me to be going out of my way.
You taught me to carefully pick and choose good souls as friends, and when I spend time with them you are quite uncomfortable.
You taught me that both men and women are equal, but then you draw boundaries when it comes to my life.
You taught me to love everyone with an open heart irrespective of their caste, religion or economic status, but when I do wish to get married to someone whom I love, that very thought burns you down.
You taught me all gods are one and that all religions preach the same, but try to make me in follow what you claim to be ours.
You taught me looks don’t matter and character does, but now attempt to alter my size.
You taught me there are no limits to one’s freedom, but mine comes with a ‘conditions apply’.
I’m not a little kid anymore!
The fact is that your little daughter/sister, your cutie-pie has grown up, and understands the realities of life. She is mature enough to handle her life as it comes and is fully empowered with doses of advice and stories of experience.
She is no more of her brother’s ‘touch-me-not’ doll.
She understands that princesses don’t exist in real life, but enjoys being her dad’s princess.
Being spiritual or seeking answers in an earnest way makes sense to her, rather than following the custom in filling in the column of ‘religion’.
Friends who are valued as the family play a prominent role in her life as they are part of her ups and downs, and it is her duty to be there for them.
More than just a tag of being ‘married’ (at the society’s decided right age), a lifelong commitment of companionship, love and togetherness is what she desires.
You have to come to terms with the fact that your little one is not too little to be caged now.
I understand the reality of a traditional society, but still…
Of course, I understand that society is not fair to women and that its actions hurt womanhood. I am not aiming to bring about a revolutionary change in the society with my actions. But I would at least like to experience it in my own life in the first place, and then be a ray of hope for the others. If within our small world (home) we welcome change, then I am sure it will spread to all homes (world) for the greater good.
Society has created this fear in all of you with unpleasant incidents and trouble, but we must, I believe, garner the courage and strength to strongly oppose and fight it. Creating pointless boundaries for women will not just inhibit our growth, but also deter the menfolk from having egalitarian thoughts.
I admit it is scary to step out into society but for this fear to end, our collective effort is needed. I do not wish for an unpleasant situation to exist for my child. And the same way would like to see you walk beside me in all my endeavours. With your everlasting warmth, love and care as a shield, with no family or society-imposed boundaries, I would like to accomplish my goals with my wings undoubtedly spread wide.
Your trust in me and your upbringing will always light my way forward, for I love all of you, and I know you love me. But I would love to explore the heights and depths of this world at my own pace, and I want to fly now, with my own wings, not with yours.
A high-spirited 23-year-old, ready for flight!