Before I get started, let me tell you guys a little about my upbringing.
I am the youngest child in the house with an elder brother. Both of my parents are working and I have been brought up in a nuclear family set up. I was a boarding school kid who went away for education when I was in 9th standard and I have never looked back since.
I am the kind of person who has always enjoyed independence - be it in terms of decision-making or personal finances.
Now coming to my story.
I have been recently married. Happily married. It was an arranged marriage in the same community yet surprisingly so different than what I had imagined. We are both working and stay in a different city than our parents.
Before I got married, I used to feel that “Feminism” is highly overrated but slowly my beliefs are changing. Why you ask? Just small things like when you have guests over in your house and your in-laws look at you signalling to serve them some snacks. Or like when you have these festivals like Karwa Chauth and you are expected to be fasting, dying your hands with mehendi and getting ready after a long tiring day of work with no food or water. Also, the times you are told to wear a bindi, bangles, toe rings, vermilion and what not as proof that you are a married woman. And of course when you are expected to get up early in mornings and you are asked not to wake up your husband because he obviously will be tired.
We are told what to wear and what not to wear. How we are expected to help in kitchen whereas husbands are banished out of kitchens. Don’t get me wrong, my in-laws are very fond of me and genuinely want me to be happy. However, in their defense this is the life they have seen. This is how they have been brought up.
However, I don't do all the things stated above, I instead talk to them and tell them why it is unfair and unjust. There are times when they understand and there are times when they don’t. But we meet halfway. In all of this, I have realized although my husband is very supportive and always by my side, this is my battle to fight and I can’t blame anyone but the society that has been brought up with this unjust system since decades.
Do I want to change the society? Yes. Can I change it? How I wish! Do I know how to change it? Not a clue! All I know is - I don’t want to be the woman who is constantly causing so many troubles that living together as a family becomes unbearable. I care about my family and want to be someone who is there for her family and keep it together.
I am still figuring out my part in finding a balance between this patriarchal society and a happy family life. Still figuring out my role in changing it to be just a tad bit better.
We are still very very far from the ideal world but let’s just do our part and make it a better place for our future generations.