Stubborn, weird, disrespectful - these are the words that she heard when she met some of his distant relatives. In the second year of her marriage, my friend was dragged to her husband's mamaji's (maternal uncle) home because his cousin was getting Married. Nobody cared that it was the first week of her new job and in no way she could get a leave. "You have to be there and help out with the Wedding. What will everyone say?" her mother-in-law spoke on phone when she raised concerns. Her Husband, who understood and pitied her condition, was helpless and torn between the two. She didn't want her husband to choose so she begged for a week of work from home and thanks to her humble boss she got it.
As all working people know, the initial weeks of new job call for a lot of training and she was asked to take them online - so yes, she was not able to dedicatedly work on her House Chores (the chores she has never done in her life and thanks to house-help she never needed to). After a long travel they arrived on Sunday and for five days she literally killed herself between house chores and her job. Despite all these efforts she was constantly judged and looked down upon. Her husband supported her and for his sake she kept quiet. Yes she did, until Friday night.
The house where she was staying was old and had broken stairs. Friday evening she heard a ruckus downstairs, worried what was happening she ran downstairs but fell down on her way. During the fall she twisted her ankle, her wrist sprained and back badly bruised. Her fall stopped the heated argument - reason for which she never found - but it caused a major issue for her. See that night was the D.J. function (aka sangeet) in the house and Saturday was the wedding. And people (her so called in-laws) were not worried for her health but were cursing her. Instead of asking 'how was she', they criticized 'how her "career" was so important that she brought a bad omen to the event'. The pain helped her ignore everything.
That night, despite so much pain and inability to walk, she was forced to attend the function. She had started to lose it and the situation was not something she had bargained for when she married her husband. Angry, frustrated she went to the function in her usual clothes. She didn't bother to put on a saree (which was too much of a task in her condition), bangles (which was not possible with sprained wrist), payal (didn't seem important for she was limping), toe-rings (couldn't wear on swollen feet) or bindi or sindoor (she couldn't care less about them with everything else). The moment she entered the hall, all eyes fell on her and it turned silent.
"Oh my God, look at her, can you say she is only one year into marriage" someone hissed. For whole hour she heard passing comments like "how rude, she doesn't have any credit for our traditions" "one should not love her job so much that you forget the honour of your family" and worst of all "is she widowed?" The last comment flipped the switch. Angry, cursing under her breath, she started to leave but aunt of his husband's cousin - a very distant relative - stopped her.
"I will say it Samiksha, working all day and not helping was still fine but this is a little too much" she almost yelled. Who the hell is she to talk to me like this, she thought but kept quiet.
"We get it, you are young, beautiful and with a job but don't you think it is a little uncalled for to come to a wedding like this? You want to attract other men or what?" she continued and this was it. Everyone stood silent and she looked for her husband. Apparently this so-called-aunt waited for him to step out. As he came in she called for him and held his arm as she responded - "Yes I am young, very beautiful and successful, but I don't need some stupid traditions to prove myself married. This is my husband and I don't to dress up like a show-doll to prove my dedication for him. I love him to my core - that's why I have been tolerating non-sense for whole week. Now, if you please, I am leaving. You can keep your rotten traditions to yourself but always remember, you also have a daughter and God forbid if she has an accident, I would love to see how you force her into things that you are to me" At this some people clapped and some frowned but she couldn't care less. Her only worry was - maybe she ruined the wedding" Moments later she left and never found what happened after it. Next day she attended the wedding - doing best she could. She knew she ruined some relations that day but the ones that were important and mattered held on - no matter what.
The above story is based on true experience of my friend and I have shared it with her consent.
The experience of my friend clearly states how Women of India are judged by a jury who is totally biased and is not supporting her dreams. It is not just such experiences that showcase the true condition of women in India but there are stats that prove the same story.
Take a look at some of the startling figures that the Nihar Naturals #IAmCapable survey conducted by Nielsen India reveals:
a. 69% of men Agree that their judgement of women is based on their looks.
b. 64% of Women Agree that the judgements passed on them have affected their ability to reach their true potential.
c. 70%of women agree that majority of judgements on women are from family members or friends rather than strangers.
d. 72% of women agree that working women face more judgements on their looks or their clothes than housewives.
This post is written to support #IAmCapable campaign by Nihar India.
"I’m breaking stereotypes based on appearance by sharing my experience for the #IAmCapable activity at BlogAdda in association with Nihar Naturals"
Love and Cheers