Saturday, December 12, 2009

The story of my girlhood...

When we were young and out for a cause my parents called us and warned, ‘Come back home before it is dark.’ We hurried and returned sighing in silence when we shall grow up. But amazingly, its only my brother who has grown up after that, may be his prayer was stronger, my sister and I still remained kids, warned and protected and still reminded, ‘Come back home before it is dark.’

I do not know how others react, but it torments and tatters my ego violently. It keeps ringing and ringing in my ears scorning and mocking my individuality. So many times I replied, ‘You need not worry Ma, I am a better judge of my life,’ and the phone went abruptly cut, my mother hurt hearing such an answer. And so it was time to think who am I annoyed of.

As we grow up, nature gives us enough strength to take things for granted and we eventually end up happy and satisfied with whatever is around us. But for every individual it leaves a gap somewhere to make that person realize probably that how artfully it has covered rest of the part. For Newton, say, falling an apple from the tree couldn’t be digested…something as obvious as ever. Why do people grow old and sick…is that even a question to ask…but went over Siddhartha’s head and he had to struggle to unwrap.

I often feel my problem point is somewhere hovering around women and the darkness-warning has been building it like a furnace right from the time I was young. A simple eve-teasing was so simply taken by my sister always, but I always had to 'act smart' and ‘create scene’ as she often referred to it later.

And I tried all sorts of experiments to deal with it to find out which of these calms me down faster. ‘Ignoring is the best thing in such situation’ women who have seen more summers than I often answered, ‘Dogs can bite you, but you can’t bite the dog,’ that was the core logic this theory was based on.

When I tried this it was a disaster. That one minute of silence ripped me off with so many words later, written angrily across my diary-pages that I had to decide, something better must be done.

I still remember the day I was returning with my mom from the market buying a new pair of shoes packed in the box. I was in my early teens and sill unaware of the rules of this world. And it was a young lad following me through every lane and every turn. And then when the crowd got thinner and I could spot him for his good, I slung my hand with the shoe-box hanging in the polythene and struck him across his face right there.

That was my first time and the very first step towards experimentation.
But that was a beginning with a Beginner’s luck.

After that I never found it that easy to spontaneously raise my hand. Then the intermediates I worked on... how powerful could one be with words? Those days as I was still to see the world, I first tried with good words. How foolish was that day when to my coaching centre a man followed from the bus and pleaded me to be with him for sometime and assured me with safety and secret. I behaved like a fool and politely kept refusing his offer. He said he would still wait for the answer. I learnt nothing in the class that day. My exam was near. My legs shook everyday while I took another route, another bus and another long way planning my every action with caution…

And then as destiny took me to Delhi where nature is at its best to teach people to take things easy, I grew up. I learnt slowly the art of creating a recycling bin in my head where some things should directly be dumped off, people treated in the way they deserve…a fight won or lost should be forgotten about and counted as a step towards better solution. I learnt that this petty problem with girlhood isn’t all that big when I met women betrayed, fooled, tortured and still mastering the art of ignoring it all.

Being in Ahmedabad now, has almost made me forget that deep within me I was a warrior. Suddenly today my swords poked, my shields clamored as I walked along the road and a man in bike spoke near my ears and whizzed past. What could a word do? How after all could a glance or a chuckle harm? But as I had earlier mentioned, that’s where is my raw nerve…a slight poke there brings down all my anguish rattling in despair.

The invisible chain I have been building with all women in all state and form suddenly gets shaken up and swings to and fro like a pendulum. And in that hazy motion I see the woman in our neighborhood turned mad now with strict rules of not stepping out. At her tender young age she suffers a weak heart and amusingly blames her shampoo for all the cause. Everyday she tries new shampoo, new brand but her fate fails to coordinate with her.
An aunt of mine fondly showed her jewellery her husband had got, whenever we stepped to see her. Every week he got precious necklace and she would open the cases all around her, scatter the stones like the richest wife on earth and then sit back to share the grief of her husband’s extra affairs.

My teacher’s daughter whom they threw acid on, my friend’s aunt who died with abortion after abortion, my childhood friend whose outdoor games oneday suddenly stopped, as her parents said she has now 'grown-up'…I have each one of you in my mind glowing clear…I have you held as part of my identity somehow, as my own shame, my own guilt, my own anguish, agony and despair.

Believe me, I don’t mind shedding a tear or two to console your heart, I don’t mind if the strength allotted to my life is spent to bandage my wounded nerve. The mad woman who kept wondering the whole village with a rug was raped by her husband’s brothers. She had claimed her share in her husband’s wealth after he expired… I have unwillingly started breathing your breath and now everyday it gets warmer…

23 comments:

mohitparikh said...

story of every girlhood, i guess. Its a tough world for women, and what to blame except the primitive understanding of men.

Viyoma R said...

Hey interesting read..a very unique n interersting style of writing...

neem said...

very touching...

neem said...

very touching...

Harry said...

Do you wish that men stop behaving in the the way they do or women step up strongly against any sort of injustice and become independent ?

I remember once I was in the market with two of my female friends and we were having a laugh about someting and there were 2 guys who had been staring at the gals for a while now. After we left the place and started walking, there comes these guys on a bike from behind. It had a pressure horn instead of a normal horn fitted in it. It happened within two secs they came racing n whistle passed from the gals side tooting the pressure horn with full intensity. One of the gals freaked out at the top of their voices and the other one was unmoved. The gal who wasnt affected said that the people like that ve such non existent identities that they ve to use such ways to make their presence felt, that we are also here, like a plea" Please acknowledge our existence as well". Because other wise their personalities are so shallow that u go past them without even knowing it. So they ve to use diff ways to some how come in the picture. N within the next two mins she had forgotten averything n was absolutely calm. N the other gal was upset for a long time. So it could be the way each of us think, n have diff approach towards diff things in life.. Its important to have a right philosphy in life that tells u what things you shd allow as your source of pleasure or pain and u shd not be vulnerable to the slightest thing or any stranger on the road. i know its easy said than done. But it works.

kochuthresiamma p .j said...

came here from shobha de blog.

like your style & concerns.
guess every woman has to/does find her own way of dealing with the pervert male the roads are infested with.nothing can rid the public spaces of these characters.
but that does not mean that a woman has to grin & bear it.

i think schools & colleges should train women to keep their wits about them so that they can deal appropriately with thes characters.

Jay said...

Very well said.. the thought is conveyed in a very subtle way n yet its hardhitting... good job..
There is a need to consciously do something about this menace.. To act aptly..
A woman being the president of India, or the president of the ruling party in India, or the ceo of pepsi co, or the chancellor of germany, or the ceo of yahoo aint gud enuff.. coz at the end of the day, 'its a man's world'..

IndiaVed said...

yeah your blogs shows u r Aparajita ... as the name suggest "one who cannot be defeated"
good to know your learning, awareness and curiosity in search of the Truth behind everything and your struggle being a woman.
The main reason of women are so much forced to live in house boundaries when they grow up is that atleast in india the society is sexually suppressed and there are so many male animals wandering open in society who are sexually suppressed other then that there are criminals also who has no fear even of going to jail.
But this happens mainly in undeveloped societies. Even in india in better societies like in many metro cities women wander and work till late night with no concern for their safety atall.
I think soution lies in women making themselves mentally, emotionally as well as physically strong so that small incidents if happen they take them lightly and not allow them to affect their life and if needed they can even verbally and physically reply very firmly even if needed to complain to police and telling their parents about such incident.
If girls do jogging, exercise, meditation and other physical training then they are better mentally and physically prepared to meet challenges of life. Just sitting at home and doing household chores although feel safe but dont give the freedom which the women deserve for to live her life as they wish to be.
By default women live and work from heart and being non violent hence becoming more and more aware, happy, strong and intelligent is a far better solution then opposing each such incident by physically hitting or force.
Slowly slowly our society is also evolving and reaching a state like in most developed countries where there is no distinction between a male and a female and people start thinking beyond sex and talking to a girl or guy and falling in love and that too many times in life and doing sex with their choice is absolutely normal in life and should not be a matter of concern to either parents, society or the police, as generally they oppose it.

IndiaVed said...

also go through this reply to an email at my blog
http://indiaved.blogspot.com/2009/08/oh-arjuna-become-yogi.html

with love

Golden Vulture said...

heyy a very heart touching post indeed my friend ... there is suffering everywhere .. but we just always choose to be a warrior .. or die without letting the world know that you existed .. by reading it .. i am sure you are a person with strong will .. and i can see you gotta go a long way :)

just keep smiling :) it will make things easy sometimes :)

be happy :) May you be blessed :)

IndiaVed said...

One aspect is that women dont have freedom to wander freely, openly due to fear of men and another aspect is they are not free to love and marry someone with their choice and these both are related and the whole society including men and women and mainly the parents, the society and the police should evolve.

with much love,
aman
www.indiaved.blogspot.com

Neeraj said...

i love to read you writing, and you never disappoint me.
the pain and anger being a girl in india is easily understandable.
i salute your never ending spirit to fight back against the oppression.
its not you alone who has faced it, but you are among the few who wants to fight back for the justice.
keep it up,
all the best.

Jayati said...

I like your expression of emotion. It goes without saying that you are good with putting words to thoughts and it is most impressive that you do not accept the universally accepted injustice. And now, I expect you are doing something about it. For yourself And more importantly for Others. We need more of you out there. And actually, here's a confession. I wanted to say that to me as much as i wanted to say that to you. "It is expected that I do something about it."

richa said...

hey reading it was like reading my suppressed thoughts only.....same question...same guilt...same anguish i do feel and i guess almost all of us...i hope more and more male shud read this and b aware that their 2 sec. lewd comment can hurt the psyche of a teenage for years..

and ya this isnt for all males offcourse..

Vivek said...

Just read your post. The way you write is highly commendable. What you wrote is is every next girl's true story. The question now is What as human beings can we do ? Is there a way to change ? Or we would keep reading blogs and writing comments to show our literary skills ? I am happy that you wrote this all with remarkable determination to bring out the "Truth". Still we have a long long way to go towards becoming human in true sense. But we need more and more women to come up strong, not to burn the bras but to resist and reverse the mindset that makes us proud in being stereotyped male or female. And none other than women themselves can bring the change since family starts from them. Lets hope for the best and do our parts.

The Mystic said...

quite touching! I do agree with you the women have it real bad! but that in a way i don't know somehow makes them stronger than men!

Reshma said...

a diff style of writing.... very touchy and true...

krunalthehell said...

Hello Aparajita !

wishing u a happy womans day !

I hope u r not busy as this mail might be quite long and a lot informal.

I was browsing through few of the threads in Taslima Nasrin community on orkut and was revived after reading ur blog "mindspun".
after reading this i found a great similarity between ur views and the scenario which most of indian girls face, obviously I wonder why it took human race so long to understand how hard and menacing these social disturbaces really are.

I thought of sharing few of my learning experinces with u as they happen to be dealing with similar odd yet dejected scenarios. if one really ponders on how well things get complicated because of above average social disturbaces, one is forced to think of lazy n shabby ways of running away from reality and reach a stage of euphoria which never really exists. talking about political happenings was never the goal of any so called "talented individual" in our so called "prosperous structured nation", as a result many politicians came and exploited feelings of many indian citizens. i may be excused for accusing the nation and its relative brilliance in front of thse tangible issues. but living in maharashtra and esp in pune was always a discouraging zone for any personal development, perhaps because of lack of international reach. living in a big city where no one really appreciates the power of male-female integration is always suffocating and unentertaining, perhaps stupid and troublesome too.
Every morning i wake up by angry cries of people screaming ballads of some dead warriors and breaking my eternal sleep. they scream "jai shivaji! jai bhawani" they protest for petty affairs like "prefered usage of marathi over the national language" and many issues which require least of technicalities and which hardly reinforce any human bondage. perhaps these cries reach us inderectly through various sources like riots and burning of shops of poor people who cant even afford a honda accord. my dad often whispered in my ears to stay aloof from such angry mobs.
But does it really help? perhaps the sence of desparity wont end with a single generation.

anyways thanks a lot for ur time n efforts. keeps posting such blogs.

rockbrainbuster said...

girlhood , very well portrayed indeed. Gave me a perspective of the tentativeness and external fragileness of a lady, but then these lovely creatures grow up to be some of the most mentally strong and emotionally sorted out individuals.
enjoyed it thoroughly, aparajita

Anonymous said...

Aparajita,
I really have no words to say except for , I am going to recommend your post to all my friends.
As guy, I have known,what women in India, especially in Delhi have to endure. But your post, has put everything in perspective and really stirred something inside me. Great Job!

Egghead said...

Aparijita,

Great post!.

As a guy, I have always known what women have to endure on adaily basis in places like Delhi, but I have never understood.
Your writing is so powerful, it really stirred something in me.

toink said...

ur a tough woman!

Vinay Sarda said...

Nice post. Why have u stopped writing?

Well find sometime for my blog too: http://vins-thinks.blogspot.com/