I’m absolutely not proud to be born as a woman. Neither do I think that I am, in any manner, superior to men. Now, before you judge me, I want you to know that nothing encourages me to do something more than the thrill of being challenged to do it. I’m sure many of you will agree. We have faced many challenges growing up as girls and these little encounters have carved us into the best versions ourselves. So, ladies we deserve a pat on our backs. This blog post is my humble attempt to say “thank you” to all those who are making /have made my journey to #adorewomanhood more happening. If you are intrigued enough to know more, read on.
The (Extended) Family:This journey of gratitude begins with thanking my parents, grandparents, extended family, neighbours, and everyone else remotely connected or not connected to me for not bashing me or my mother for my birth. I owe my existence to them, quite literally. Brownie points for those who were happy for me being born as a girl, a dark skinned girl. My birth was a very special occasion for my family. They were delighted. But what delighted me were my birthdays.
The Guests: I remember, when my birthday parties were over I used to be very sad and wondered why I had to wait for one whole year for my next birthday to come. Because, birthdays = gifts.
Thanks to all of them who gifted me Barbie dolls and kitchen sets. I loved (and I still love) unwrapping presents and did not mind the dolls and tiny utensils popping out. Okay, just kidding! They were my prized possessions for the next few weeks. However, I think, I wouldn’t have objected to occasionally getting Lego bricks like my cousin brother did on his birthdays. Really? What moron buys a Lego set for a little girl? Oh come on…
There are more connections between the left and right hemispheres of a woman’s brain compared to a man’s brain. This, along with our hormones play a major role in how we think. And that is all. Men are not more intelligent than women. Neither are women pre-wired to like only certain activities. Our guests were not well informed I guess. I understand.
The Uncle on the Bus: I must have been a weird kid to have played with big cartons turned into cars. There was an air of indifference and independence around me. I thought, I could be anything, be anywhere. Cool! No, just the opposite happens in reality. One particular bus ride taught me what most parents shy away from discussing with their young daughters. It was considered indecent. But this stranger uncle just grabbed me by my waist and made me sit on his lap and did things that shook me. Thanks uncle stranger, for teaching me to be extra cautious every time I boarded an overcrowded public transport.
I knew that talking about being “touched” was not encouraged. We were taught to stay indoors after dusk. But I’m happy that now we are coming out of our cocoons. Schools are teaching young people to be vocal and report incidents of violation. The stranger uncle has taught me the greatest lesson of all: Although, my body is a temple and I need to care for its well-being, my soul is the sacred deity and will always remain untarnished.
The Next-door Auntie: She is multi-talented and multi-tasking Auntie. Her daughter (or son) always scored better marks, dressed and behaved more appropriately than me. Kudos for raising such a prodigy. Thank you keeping a check on my manners, grades, attires right from when I was a toddler. Thanks for being so vigilant about which gender I mingled with the most. Thank you for being extremely generous with your advices. I was impressed when you told me how issues of national or perhaps international importance could be resolved by slight modifications to women’s conduct and attire. For example, how sexual harassment can be single handedly battled if women chose to dress more conservatively or how ek chutki sindoor (a pinch of vermilion) on my forehead can prolong my husband’s life and bring marital bliss.
You are the reason why we celebrate women’s day and not men’s day or homo sapiens’ day for that matter.
Auntie, you deserve a break now. You have earned it!
The “People”: Have I already stated that this gratitude list is random? Had it not been random, I would have chosen to place “the people” on top of the list. Sorry, I have no idea who these people are but they seem to be everywhere, judging everyone. I’m not biased but I have a feeling that this tribe consists of females, mostly. They are jealous, judgemental, vindictive and love to corner people for trivial reasons. Honestly, I was scared of them till I realized that I don’t care. I’m grateful that we have parted ways.
Monster In-laws: Mine are fine. I’m grateful to have made the acquaintance of such kind people. They are so rare…in India. There are multiple reasons to thank them: for not demanding the “cash and car“, for letting me work, blah blah blah… But more than anything else I want to thank them for acknowledging and respecting the fact that I’m am individual who has grown up with a set of values different from their own but chosen to follow some of theirs.
The Squad: If you liked reading this post and are ready for more, please check out the next post in this blogathon by Shruti.
I admit, being a girl is challenging as well as adventurous. Men and women are biologically different for reasons known best to science. Hence, a battle of the sexes is futile. This Women’s Day and for the following 364 days, let all of us promise to be supportive and encourage the women around us. Remember,