Why not a rebel, a feminist?
It will not be surprising if another rebel, another feminist takes birth in Leela or Prerana. I would love to see a rebel, a feminist in them, who oppose oppression, who help other women to come out of oppression, for they have seen all it, they have suffered all it and they know how to tackle situations and help women come out of it and build a new life, with lots and lots of hopes and fresh dreams.
Now, don’t start thinking why am I talking about feminism all of a sudden. When people brand women as feminists and rebels, why don’t they just stop and think why did they become one? Why not put in the shoes of those “feminists” and see for themselves? Feel for themselves?
Not everybody wants to be branded and separated from the common group. How can anybody who has experienced what Leela or Prerana have gone through in their life to be normal? Why can’t and why shouldn’t be feminists?
Here, I’m using the term feminists in a broader perspective, because I can’t forget the fact that Leela’s mother-in-law was also a woman and she feels empowered controlling and suppressing her daughters-in-law. So a feminist here I mean, one who opposes the oppression, questions the male authority, and sometimes female authority as required, and establishes her own mark in the society, in the family, in the life.
Most of the women, often end up becoming feminists after the wedding. Reason? Ever thought of even thinking the reason behind it? Just merely calling them rebels or feminists will not help you get the answer. Many dream of a happily married ever after ending of the novel or story or film they have come across in their adulthood, weave so many dreams, imagine life would be like that, like this. They think sapnon ka rajkumar will come and life will be a bed of roses. And it takes a while to realize that it was a castle in the wind and very soon, all the dreams shatter.
When sacrifices, compromises go in vain
The umpteen number of compromises and scarifices go in vain. The more and more we, women compromise, the more and more we start getting hurt. And sometimes, it so happens that the family members, including the rajkumar of our life, fail to understand our emotions. Every time, we try to please them and keep saying “sorry” in the hope that we may have hurt them by any chance. They fail to understand that when we say sorry to them, it's not meant that we are wrong and they are right. It is all about the importance we give to a relationship more than our ego and this simple fact goes unnoticed!
Why do men, and their parents, refuse to allow the women to choose how to live? Allow them to make changes instead of giving excuses. Why not motivate them in all efforts instead of manipulating things? Make them feel useful instead of giving them the insecure feeling of being used? Help them to excel in life, not compete with other members in the family. Allow them to choose their self-esteem and put a stop when they self-pity. More importantly, realize that they have all the freedom to listen to their inner voice and not to your random opinions and advices.
If the man and the family members of the man realize a simple fact that family isn't always blood and it's the people in your life who want you in theirs, the one who accept you for who you are, the ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what, a woman can live a happily ever after life, she need not become a rebel, a feminist who will want to raise her voice, who demands her voice to be heard, who wants to question the authority and atrocity of in-laws. Utopia? Then, checking women from becoming rebels and feminists after their weddings is also a distant dream.
We women are strong because we are weak, we are beautiful because we know our flaws, we are lovers because we are fighters, we are fearless because we have been afraid, we are wise because we have been foolish... and we can laugh because we have known sadness. At the end of the day, people shouldn’t forget that after everything, still we try to put a bold face. We always tell ourselves, we may not be there yet, but one day or the other, we will get there, no matter what it takes, we will get there. For, we often refuse to let the trivial things of today weigh down our tomorrow!
At the end, let me make things clear, it is not that I'm against Malayalis or their customs and traditions, what I'm against is just their greed and lust for gold. It is not just Malayalis who are taking dowry and it is not just Malayalis who torture brides and daughters-in-law for dowry. There are many other friends who are not Malayalis and yet have gone through the ordeal. Since Leela is a Malayali, I have just given the instances of a few other friends who have been harassed by Malayali in-laws. Definitely it's not something which is meant to show Malayalis in a poor light and I'll shortly come up with stories of other friends, who have suffered because of this ugly dowry system, in the next posts. And yes, it will need more time for me to come up with other posts on those issues...