I am a married woman. Like many of my friends, I love my husband..always have, always will. Over the last 9 yrs of our being together, he has never questioned me..be it my sartorial style or the much more valuable soul style!
I am a mother. I love baby D to bits.Would go to the moon and back for her, as would most moms I know.
But I don’t love them or my family because I am “supposed” to.
I love them, because I do, and well coz the heart has it’s reason of which reason knows nothing! But there..I love them of my own accord. Not coz I have been sanctioned by the world, or conditioned by our society to love them.
But there is something that has been bothering me for a long time now. Whispered words, jarring glances, adamant juxtaposition of others views, a stubbornness to will me into their ways, sometimes even downright rude behavior!
Yes, I am an Indian married woman. But I am NOT a jewellery stand! And definitely don’t wish to live my days being the poster girl for women magazines, the hundreds of daily soap seen on Indian TV or the “Bharatiya Naari Morcha”!
So, the crux of the matter is this – I don’t go the whole Bindi, Bangles & Bichhiyan (toe ring) route.
I am not stopping you from doing so. In fact I love to dress up in the complete traditional ensemble, complete with matching bangles and a big red bindi with my sari for weddings and festivals, but on a day to day basis, that’s just not me. Sorry, but I am not Sorry.
And I see no reason for you to look askance at me as if I have lost my mind..or even worse my dignity!
I have lost count of the number of time I have been besieged by strange aunties who take it upon themselves to lecture me about this. Some random ladies of my generation are no better either. I have never really been one to mince words to please others, so my answer has always remained a succinct and simple “I don’t like it”. It’s as simple as that.
And the looks these people give me!! I don’t know whether to laugh at them or to feel sad that even women judge women based on these superficial things. What can we expect from men when women are no kinder!! This is what I hear …in no particular order of exasperation, shock and something more sinister!
- “beti choodi nahi pehni..pati ka bhala kaise hoga” – to which my reply is “how is me wearing bangles going to solve my husband’s problems, unless you have some magical bangles hidden away somewhere lady! If not, I suggest you strip off your bangle too…and relish in the lightness of the wrists ;)
- She is too modern- Ahem. Yes. I am. I am a modern, strong, independent, opinionated, bold woman. I have never needed anyone’s approval (barring my family’s) and I am most certainly not asking for yours! My advice: Try being a tad modern yourself. Your husband might just love it.
- How will people know you are married?? Or may be she is trying to show others that she is unmarried. Ha!! As if.. and hello…notice this little monkey jumping around?? Well..She’s not exactly a monkey..She’s a kid..and in India, I think we can safely assume a woman is married if she’s running around with babies. Ergo, Married!!
- No respect for elders – I have never understood how me dolling myself up is supposed to mean I have respect for the elders?? Are you telling me that all I have to do is wear bindi and bangles ,and the elders would simply consider me their fondest daughter as opposed to the prodigal daughter? Really?? Wow! Thanks for sharing THAT secret!
- Your mom wears it – Well of course she does. And she does so happily. But I don’t WANT to do, and no you are not making me happier by comparing me to my mom, mom in law, aunts, bhabhis and Godknowswhoelse! This is my choice, remember?? And I choose not to wear them. As for toe rings…God!! They were invented with the sole purpose of punishing feet, a single toe at a time. And no thanks, I don’t care much if my feet look pretty or not..I refuse to punish myself daily to prove that I am married. I am married, not a chained slave!
I have nothing against the women who do wear these items. It's perfectly fine for you to do so, if you want to. The issue I have with these “supposed” marks of matrimony is the thought process that makes me feel like a bad wife for not doing something that I am “Supposed” to.
Just because I don’t don these, doesn’t mean I love my husband any less, or don’t value my family . It doesn’t imply I am in an open marriage or don’t believe in monogamy. It’s not a signal for other men to hit on me, or an excuse for women to be rude and snide. Let’s get past these petty marks of love and relationship.
I adorn myself with the most important talisman of love, and that is being free to do, to wear or not wear what I want, without a care about what I am supposed to.
a slightly irritated,