A survey conducted 3 years ago , revealed that Indian women are the most stressed out in the world: 87% of Indian women feel stressed out most of the time.
After 3 years, today in my opinion, the percentage must have increased. Yes, I feel we, Indian women are stressed directly or indirectly, either we accept it or not.
Let's begin from the beginning, even before my birth, my mother is stressed about my gender.
Yes, it's 2015 but it remains a ugly fact even today in below-poverty line & lower middle class families, mothers are worried about their first born baby girls. I can't for sure say it has changed in other families.
In my childhood, I am taught to sacrifice starting from my favorite chocolate or toys, because I am the elder one and should pamper my younger brother/sister. In my early days I understand that being a girl, means living a life different from your brother.
As I grow up, my mother is worried about my safety and in order to protect me from being abused, she teaches me about good and bad touch or unfortunately I grow up in a family where such talks are not encouraged, I end up being one among the 76% indian girls, who have been molested at least once in childhood by a known person.
I am in high school, so no more frocks or skirts. I need to wear 'Right Clothes', covering me totally, whereas my brother can roam around shirtless.
College days, I have to attend early morning tuitions because late evening batch, is not safe. I have to come home by dark, it's not safe. My brother gets to do what ever he wants, he can attend the same party I have been invited too, comes home when he wants to.
He can go cycling in a pair of shorts, but I can't.
I help my mother in her household chores, while he can leave his plate on the table, dirty socks on the floor, play with his friends... I should not make genuine friends in opposite gender because that puts me in bad light.
I study hard, graduate, I think I will start enjoying work, being independent. If it was not for that married Boss, who is excepting more from me than just work.
I can't wear a skirt few inches short, because thats like I am sending an open invitation to get raped. I can't wear something that flaunts my body, because others around me are not comfortable with my sexuality.
Few months pass by, just when I start enjoying my professional success, I have to get married. Why?
No, I can't ask, am already too trained to think on my own.
I am really lucky, if I am allowed to choose my life partner, of course he should belong from same religion, same caste ...oops I forgot same sub caste too. If I am really blessed, my parents would actually consider my happiness over society's reaction and accept my love for a boy from a different caste( Never religion).
Lets not get into what happens if I chose someone from a different religion...
A different Nationality ??? Totally absurd thought !!
Newly married, New family, new relationships ....
A new life, Yeah with all good things attached it's a start of never ending expectations, yes I resigned at the peak of my career, relocate to a new city, new country but thats not even mentioned forget getting acknowledged or praised.
After all thats what I am supposed to do, right??
I will start from scratch, with a new identity, I know it would have been much easier if I was in my old job and again for the second time after reaching a stage where I can say I am professionally successful.
I need to take a break, because my biological clock is ticking--Big deal!
Once I am a mother, by the law of the nature I am totally responsible for my children and need to play the role of being a totally selfless, sacrificing mother with no needs or dreams of her own. I should happily stay at home and raise my children, if my husband earns enough if not I need to get back to work, and slog my ass off managing both.
I am the Super Woman, so I wake up early cook, clean, work long hours, back home to more of cooking and cleaning. I thank my stars, if I am married to a guy who believes in sharing equal responsibility else I continue doing what I do, neither I expect any help nor I complain.
Few years later, my children are all well settled, busy in their lives. I consider the thought of learning music or joining a dance class, which was my childhood dream. But how can I possibly to that in this age??
Unfortunately, If I am single, divorced or a widow at a later stage, then I am entitled to live a life all by myself. I am denied companionship because thats not the right thing to do in a age where I am supposed to start my spiritual journey.....
I should probably stop typing now!
"K....Okay... Because now I realize it's not right to write about all these bitter facts on International Women's Day ! I rather wish everyone 'A Happy Women's Day', expecting that at least one day in a whole year, we celebrate being a Woman, we do what makes us happy, we try to take a break and just enjoy being 'ME' for a change. A day to relax, smile, shop, read, dance, sing, travel...
Just do whatever you REALLY want to do! "
Image credit: giovanninacolalillo