The Sublime Subjugation
For her a woman was God’s unique creation. She was not there to defeat anybody or do things which men couldn’t do. Life is not really a battle field. Is it? She believed things were simple if you think simple. Both men and women were for her individuals. Each struggling and shining in their own constant journey for a perfect life.
Intoxicated she stood inhaling the fumes of the fulminating vehicles. She took a deep breath filling her lungs with the carbon laden air which for her was a reminder of her freedom. She was proud that she had made it so far. Though she was not the only one to be exhorted. She owed it to her parents who trusted her when no one else did. Their belief had been the food on which she fed with tenacity defying the accepted norms of the society. They provided her with the safest haven. Their home was the perfect microcosm where she and her brother were taught both the household chores and the ways of the world. Though milieu of her family was largely impartial and with some exceptions (like mopping the floors) her brother helped her in every work. Her mother’s inclination was naturally towards the younger child who was her brother, which did not in any way mean she was loved less.
Though she fretted a little at times but then it didn’t much matter because she loved him too. She did not mind further because all around the son was epitomised and the daughters always berated. It was not her case and she knew how much she was loved. Though she did not deny patriarchal set up of the society yet she was forever against the supine feminist discussion of the women empowerment. She was not weak so why seek empowerment from others. She believed that real power lay within and that God created female by adding a bit of iron to the male and so she named her Fe(rrous)+male. Even the most powerful of kings were rendered helpless by strong willed women from times immemorially. Even the immortals were no exception when women decided to go for something. It was the malevolent mother to fulfil whose wish even the God had to face exile. It was the devout woman who defeated the demon in his Golden kingdom even before the same God annihilated him.
She jubilated in the pleasure of being a woman and often wondered why was there this perennial urge to prove woman as an equal to man because you try to raise to the level of someone only when you have accepted their superiority over you. For her a woman was God’s unique creation. She was not there to defeat anybody or do things which men couldn’t do. Life is not really a battle field. Is it? She believed things were simple if you think simple. Both men and women were for her individuals. Each struggling and shining in their own constant journey for a perfect life.
She was proud of all things emblematic of womanhood. Hence she loved dressing up and decking up for this for her was not vanity but something God had ordained especially for the fairer sex. Men prone to give excessive attention to their appearance were usually considered ribald. Thus as she counted her blessings her grateful heart was filled with contentment and eternal happiness.
As if it was not all, soon true love filled her wings and she soared new heights pivoting on the faith and love of her anchors of life which kept her forever grounded however higher she went. She swirled and twirled, singing with her gratified heart.
She was proud of her strength and never had a doubt about her equality.
It were the words of a child that shook her out of her complacency and made her rethink if she was really right.
Her childhood friend had come across the seven seas. She was happy to see the friend revelling the pleasure of double motherhood with her twin sons. They talked and laughed, laughed and talked till they interrupted by her brother-in-law (BIL) “Bhaiya” she greeted the BIL warmly, the genuineness of her emotion rooted in her deep love for her lover which the society now called her husband.
“Mama look she calls the uncle Bhaiya even though he is younger to her,” the twins shrieked and they laughed loud and laughed long. They were children and so their views were as unbiased as a judge could be. Thus what she had accepted readily as her culture was to the child’s sensitive mind a grievous anomaly. She laughed and waved it off as a child’s talk then. As it always happens the words which have a deeper meaning reverberate longer than imagined. So these words resonated and became more potent than she ever realised they could be, till it was questioning her understanding of her existence.
Was she the subdued one?
Was the society really male dominated? Did patriarchy work in such subtle ways that even the subject did not know when it was subjugated?She pondered deep and she pondered long.
It was such a sublime transformation that it made her proud to succumb. She was proud of how well she had selflessly accepted her lover- husbands custom and yet expected nothing from him in return. It was what she had grown up seeing all around. The girls were the ones supposed to get accepted in the husband’s family. And in the process of adapting themselves in the new environment, the more they lost their identity the better they were praised. And she was no exception from the common human lot. Every time she was praised she strived a bit harder to please so that she could be patted yet again. The lover loved her true and deep and did not demand anything from her. He loved her just the way she was and loved her a degree more every time she yielded a part of her existence.
Was he to blame then? The husband-lover? But he had only treasured her and like a dutiful genie tried to fulfil her every desire. So to fix the blame was a bit difficult for even she could not finger out what actually went wrong.
The society had worked too quaintly lulling her reasoning faculty. It was like drip irrigation for a plant. And as every drop of water got converted into the life sap of the plant so the environment she grew up in blurred her senses till she could not tell right from wrong. The process was slow. She was tinkered quietly and so softly that even she was unaware when she became what the society had designed her to be – another goddess who was first canonised so that she could be thoroughly chastised.