In an instant, she became one of those girls who swallowed her pain and stayed.
Growing up, my mum has offered a lot of advice- from dealing with problems to dealing with people. Like every other desi mother, her advice is usually in the form of a taunt or a quirky muhaavra (idiom).
One of the most important advice she has ever given me was this-
Bewaqoof ko do paisa de do,
Aqal mat do.
“Give an idiot 2 rupees, but don’t give them knowledge.”
And I learnt my lesson the hard way.
Amidst the whole JNU row, last night, I found myself going head to head with two people. And of course as usual, what was supposed to be a decent discussion became a full-fledged mess. Because when people refuse to listen, they don’t care if your point is valid or, for that matter, logical. Because anything you say or do which differs in opinion is WRONG. It’s not that they don’t understand what you’re saying, they just choose to not open their ears or eyes. They like to live in, how they say, a horse’s point of view.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m right or I’m better than them. Maybe they’re right too. But one can only come to a conclusion in a debate or a dialogue. And when people start resorting to sad level sarcasm, it just means that they don’t have an idea of anything themselves.
I am sorry, that the people in my country believe that just because they let certain people walk on “their” homeland, they call themselves “tolerant”. Tolerant is such a negative word. We should be adapting, we should be accepting
I am sorry, that my paranoia of mainstream media allows me to think beyond what is being showcased and encourages me to use my own brain bytes.
I am sorry, that I refuse to acknowledge your narrow mindedness and indecency.
I am sorry, that in my country, a university’s attempt to an open dialogue is forced into a tamasha, and students are arrested and beaten up by lawyers (???).
I am sorry, that in my country, women are stripped naked and beaten in the streets, because of a crime somebody else committed.
I am sorry, that my country will let rapists and murderers walk free and take no action against actual criminals.
India has the capability of being a great country. What it lacks are motivated people.
I believe, that someday our country will rise as a beacon of justice, of greatness, of beauty- similar to the time when India was a golden land.
But what I don’t know is when.
A couple of days ago, I had the chance to talk to somebody about their life- A woman. (Happily?) married for almost ten years now, she spoke to me about her daily routine, things that keep her busy and what her (extended) family is like.
And what I found out was shocking, and supremely sad.
I had known her for a long time, but I had no idea about whatever she was going through regularly. Problems exist everywhere, but her story, albeit a very common scenario, was heartbreaking.
If you ever read this, I’m writing this for you. You were the inspiration behind this. And I love you.
Rafia (name changed) is a beautiful, loyal and hard working person. Apart from her radiating personality and charming laughter, she is humble, down to earth and severely respectful of her elders and her surroundings. A mother to two children- an introvert and a mischievous bloke, both school going, her days usually revolve around taking care of them, and her in laws, and the rest of the house.
I am witness to the amount of work she puts in every single day, from getting her kids to school to preparing food for everyone (give or take- 15 people), tending to her mother in law (who can be rather demanding), picking the kids from school, cleaning them up, teaching them, and handling the house-helps to doing it all over again.
Trust me, her life isn’t easy.
I have seen her on her feet for hours on end, without any breakfast and no lunch, and not complaining.
And what she gets for all of her effort is nothing. Her mother in law has a nasty habit of complaining about her to everybody she meets, and discourages her in front of the same people. Her sister-in-law is of no help, being a “working woman” and always adds insult to injury. Her husband does not value her as one should and constantly belittles her in front of her kids.
I clearly remember her crying as she told me all of this. I was aware of the injustices towards this gentle soul, but I had no idea of the extent of this corruption.
I know that women are mistreated in our society, and are considered equal to nothing in front of men.
But what angers me are women doing this to other women.
Have you forgotten that you were once in the same position?
If you want less of a daughter and more of a maid, get a fucking maid. Please. But don’t ruin a person’s life whose primary goal SHOULD be her family, but she ends up getting pushed into your nasty affairs.
I hold nothing against serving your in-laws, after all they are your elders and you should respect them, but silently suffering through misbehavior isn’t something a woman signs up for when she gets married.
I’m no advocate of any other religion, but in Islam, a woman has no obligation on her husband’s parents. And if she does serve them, she does it only out of love for her husband.
A Muslim woman is entitled to her own separate house and can also ask for wages to take care of the children. Plus, let me remind you, housework is the responsibility of HER HUSBAND. It is HIS duty to figure out how work around the house is tended to.
I know that in the present world, everyone thinks that a Muslim woman is oppressed beyond belief. I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but that isn’t true. I come from a family of doctors, and having 5 sisters, I know a thing or two about a woman’s rights. In Islam, a woman is MORE important than a man.
To the people who complain about women being a miscreant or a burden- If it weren’t for a woman, love, you wouldn’t even be existing. Funny, right?
It’s so easy to call women weak. But we’re the stronger being. Physical strength can be lost, but breaking somebody’s spirit isn’t easy, you know? A woman can be subjected to a lot of suffering, but she has the strength to bear it all. Probably the biggest challenge being pregnancy and child birth. So before you call a woman weak, think about how your mother silently suffered to bring you into this world and not your father. Think about how much your mother or your sister or your wife or your daughter will love you and take care of you, only out of the compassion in their hearts. Think about how many times she will be torn down, and how many times she will rise back on her feet.
Do you think housework is easy? Give it a try. And do the same thing 365 days in a year. And then live every second without appreciation and tell me how that feels.
And possibly what I hate the most, is when men call other apparently weak men, “women” or “bitch” or “pussy”.
EXCUSE ME, but we’re stronger than you nut carrying creeps can ever be.
Me and another friend have decided that from now on, NOBODY is a bitch- they’re a dog.
NOBODY is a whore/slut- they’re a pimp.
NOBODY is a woman (aurat)- they’re a man (mard).
THIS is why we need feminism.
Because women don’t deserve equal treatment, they deserve better.
Because they ARE better.
Better than ANY man.
Better than what society has her believe.
She is strong.
She is powerful.
She is amazing.
“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.”
– Diane Mariechild