I'm not sure what scares me more:
This sentence in today's times of India:
"Musharraf’s move to seize emergency powers and abandon the constitution left Bush administration officials close to their nightmare: An American backed military dictator who is risking civil instability in a country with nuclear weapons and an increasingly alienated public."
Or this in Yesterdays:
“…A 22-year-old woman working as an associate at a Wipro call centre in Pune was raped and murdered, allegedly by the driver of the office cab taking her to work and a friend of his. The two men, high on booze, late on Thursday night stopped the cab at a hamlet along the Pune-Mumbai expressway and raped her and then strangled her and smashed her skull…”
..to my parents.
For letting me make my mistakes. For teaching me my lessons early on in life, and then letting me go out and live my life on my own. For telling me to go manage things on my own. For making the independent person I am today. For still advising me, but respecting my decision to not take it.
For inculcating the responsibility to do my chores, right from childhood.
Thank you, aai and baba, for even though I complained all through childhood and adolescence about rules I hated to follow, I truly appreciate the freedom you gave me.
I met someone recently, who's all grown up and who's parents still followed her everywhere. They came with her to a new city. They got her, her apartment, got her "settled in", didn't let her roam around alone since it was a new city and generally did all the talking and thinking for her.
And I was shocked. At our age, if you haven't cut the umbilical cord yet, you might never be able to.
Thank you also for making me do all the work that needed to be done irrespective of gender stereotypes. I see so many women today who won't do lifting or talking to the handy-men, because that's a "man's job". And I feel sorry for them. For being stuck in a cliché. I grew up doing heavy lifting with my dad. Helped in any electrical for mechanical fixing that needed to be done. Changed bulbs. Carried suitcases. And never gave a second thought to it. Coz I thought everybody was brought up this way. Till I met women today who actually won't do half the work, cause there are boys, na?
Which brings me to my next thought…
I ain't no lady:
I have heard people telling me that I should be more lady like. That I should always speak politely and be gentle. That I should hold me hand to my heart and call the boys when any work needs to be done!
I have never advocated gender stereotypes and I never will. I don't believe that there some jobs only for men and some only for women. I agree certain people might thrive in certain jobs and environments and some in others. But I hate generalization.
Like I mentioned before I grew up in a family which flouted gender stereotypes at least to some extent. And gave us the freedom to explore all things in life irrespective of our gender. (And I mention this because I have seen people who been brought up to think of a man's behavior and a woman's behavior. )
I played tipri and cricket. I broke awlas off trees and played with my kitchen set. My sis and I plaited our doll's hair and played at wrestling.
I was a member of Barbie club and my dad and I made apple pie from it's magazine recipes. I'd lead my mom in cheek-to-cheek dancing around the house. I lifted furniture. I also lifted mom. J
I love knitting. And was the captain to the college girl's cricket team.
I worked in a workshop in college with lathes, and drilling and grinding machines. And loved buying chunky street side anklets, bracelets, chains.
I don't polish my nails regularly and am not worried about chipping them. I jump over walls and get my hands dirty.
I spent two months taking care of sister's 2 month old baby. I stayed up at night with her and carried her and walked with her till she nodded off to sleep against my neck. I changed her nappies and sang lullabies to her. Combed her hair. And later, enjoyed feeding her from a milk bottle.
Until I was 16 (and thin), I ran around in shorts and grubby knees. Alternated with small skirts and pretty lacy tops.
I watch cricket with my entire family and curse the team. I love mostly romantic-comedy and don't like violent movies and horror.
I have traveled standing on furniture in the back on a tempo traveler. And I absolutely love applying mehendi on my hands and loads and loads of colored metal chudiya.
The list could go on. And you'd never know what I am.
I don't always cross my legs. And I don't drink tea with my pinky out. I don't always use appropriate language. I never cover my knees when in skirts. I read and talk about topics that people say I am not supposed to be interested in. I laugh loudly and don't cover my mouth. I play games that make me sweat (not perspire, or glow, sweat!)
But, I cannot be summed up in stereotype.
I ain't no lady. But I'm more of a woman than they could ever be.