The more I stare at myself, more I get confused, who am I?
You called me a Goddess, called me ‘Laxmi’ of your home. Yet you are okay with me sweeping your homes, serving you as your ‘Kaamwaali Bai ’.
You called me ‘Durga’, compared me to the idol you worship. Yet banned me from entering your temples, when I had periods. I somehow became impure and untouchable during those days.
I asked questions then
Why do I bleed?
And you told me I was not allowed to ask such questions.
But somewhere in the murmurs & the whispers, I eventually heard it’s my fault that I was born a girl & I will have to go through this pain, this continuous ache in the belly, the headaches, the uncomfortable nights, the backaches, the nausea and bad taste, the fear of stains and shame every month for most part of my life.
Just when I made my peace with that, understood that something ‘bad’ was my constance, I read somewhere this ‘bad’ will bring me the fortune of becoming a mother.
Yet again I questioned
Something what made me impure enough to enter a temple, how could it make me the purest being of them all?
I am not allowed to enter your kitchen, your temple and touch your food when I have my periods. But you want your sons to get married only to a child-bearing machine. And if, I am more than that I am again unfit and useless to your idea of a family.
I again made my peace with this eye opener. Thought, that becoming a mother is in fact a blessing itself. But, I see that it’s such a curse at times when you become a mother but not under the conditions apply*.
Become a mother, carry something heavier than boy’s gym toys for 270 days, bear the pain of 400 bones getting fractured at the same time. I can still become a piece of disgust, if I am a single mother & I don’t have a father to name my child after.
Even when I don’t ask for it, I am raped.
Even when I decide not to kill my baby while the father decides, me and the baby are dead to him.
Even when my husband died serving the country, and I became a single mother to his brave blood.
I still become a matter of shame for my family, if it was a child outside the wedlock, when I decide it’s my life after all and this is how I want to live it. Because my family is formed by trust between two souls and not by signatures on a piece of paper!
So I went on wondering
What if I don’t bear children at all?
And then I was told it made be an incomplete woman somehow. As if, my identity as a woman is a question of whether or not I bring a child into this world and raise him/her under the identity of a man. And to push that belief further down my throat I was also told that it all will be fine because,
“You are a goddess”
“You are worth our worship”
My brother was asked to wash my feet every “Navratra”, yet he grew up to be a husband who would beat his wife. My father would start his new ventures in my name because my name was lucky, yet I was called my husband’s name for my entire life.
So help me decide,