I’ve risen like a phoenix from my ashes. I will not stay quiet anymore. I refuse to be silent. I am a universe unto myself. I am the world. And its Prophet.. The-Goddess-Who’s-Not-A-Virgin.

I have a long life ahead of me, numerous opportunities waiting to be grasped. I have it in me to rise above the rest. I can be whatever I wish to be. I can be for the 21st century what Virginia Woolf was for the 20th.I’m filled with passion and excitement. I’m ready to make my mark in this world.

Sitting in my living room, wearing a plastic smile as half-a-dozen unknown eyes scrutinize me, a pair of them being particularly lustful; my father is talking proudly about how I am good at artwork and am blessed with a cool and responsible head and a loving nature.

But she’s an MBA from IIT,’ the lady says, almost pensively. The subtext being – We fear she might be too intelligent.

Oh that’s not a problem,’ my father says humbly, ‘she won’t have a problem quitting her job if she has to look after her family. She’d easily do it if that’s what everyone else wants.’

No! I shout internally, flabbergasted. I won’t quit my job. Not for some strangers who pretend to be family. I’m not a servant. Not a machine for producing children, or rather, sons – the next heir for their large property I’ll never quit my job. My independence!

A few hours later my excited father asks me to give an honest answer to him. Honest answer, I thought for a second. I couldn’t tell my dad about what I really thought. I’ve dropped clues every now and then, trying to dodge the subject of marriage, but he seems to have turned a blind eye to all that. He’s just not able to understand me – my being.

I have no answer to give. There is a language of silence too. A man’s aggressive silence is a word of caution, while a woman’s silence is a form of submission.

I remained quiet (how I wish I hadn’t) and was married off to that Boy-Who-Went-To-IIM in a needlessly grand celebration of something that wasn’t at all worth it.

What is life without a purpose? Nothing.

I know what I want from my life. I’m sure of my direction. That’s all that matters. The flow of my free thoughts takes me to unexplored places where I often discover the inner beauty of those veiled realities that fail to draw the eyes of most people. It is in those unknown, invisible realms that the desire of my heart resides. I was born in a family where girls are educated only to be married one day. My mother, having a Masters degree in Geography, ended up marrying the person her family chose for her and submitted herself to a life of a housewife. I don’t know if she ever dreamt, like me, of changing the world, but I know with certainty that no girl (my mother included) ever works hard at her education with the sole desire of finding the right husband.

But I won’t succumb to this pressure. I won’t allow others to choke my dreams to death. I know the path is difficult. I’ll be mocked by many for not taking the safe and tested route of marriage. But I know what I’m doing, and that’s what matters the most. People around me won’t understand me now. But they will laud me when I reach that pinnacle I hope to reach one day. There is so much to learn, to see, and to read and such little time. I cannot be quiet and let them have their way. No.

This is it. I’m married to Mr. Random Guy and will now be forced to live a life of adjustment and sacrifices. I’m not the owner of my dreams anymore. I am not that independent, free-thinking girl I used to be. I’m different.

I am Married.

It’s a huge responsibility, something I’m not entirely sure I am ready to tackle. But then, who asks the girl really. My loving father, too scared to break the normative structure of a woman’s destiny, pushed me into it. I won’t say I’ve been particularly unlucky here. I mean, I was allowed to study before being forced into a marriage.

But what was the use of that?

Here I am, three years into the ‘holy bond’, and I don’t see my life going anywhere. It’s exactly what I had feared it would turn out to be – aimless. I have a baby boy to look after, which means I stay home with him, watching him play and grow as my husband goes out into the real world and makes money by doing the job he loves.

But you have your child, people would say to me; don’t you like being with him all day? See him grow, learn new things everyday?

I’m sorry, my answer to them would be, I feel I can do better. Having a child is good, yes. Being a mother is special. But I cannot make it seem like that’s all that matters to me.

It’s been more than a decade. That girl who used to read Woolf and Wollstonecraft in her university days and dreamt of living a life on her own terms, creating a self along the way, is long gone. What the world defines me as today is a supportive wife and a sincere mother. Am I not much more than that?

The night of my college farewell, I had written in my diary – I am a universe unto myself.

I am decided to write. Something, anything. If only I could succeed in keeping the seeds of my dreams safe from the storms of life, and be patient enough to wait for the soil of circumstances to turn fertile, perhaps I can claw my way back to my old creative self, and find the words hidden inside. You see, we women have wonderful stories to tell, in spite of all the adversities, or maybe because of them. We can pen down a great tradition of vigour and survival for the future generations of women who will follow in our footsteps.

Featured Image Credits: http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-indian-babies-bare-feet-against-mothers-floral-sari-monochrome-34788242.html

About The Author

Rachit Raj

Conjurer of words, ideas and stories and lover of books and movies

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