Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Don't have a title for this post...

While growing up, for both of us, our marks in Maths mattered more than house-work.
My parents always said, studying is THE only way out...
My mom sealed the whole deal on "studying is more important than anything else", by saying we will be rich, making pot-loads of money if and only if we studied!
So, we studied...
The discriminations, the boundaries were applied only by visiting relatives and one set of grand parents...
It still got me. I am not too sure about my sister, but being the eldest had its problems.
I remember, when I was 12, my granny telling my mom that I should stop wearing skirts, because good girls from good families don't show off their legs!
My mom made sure I didn't wear skirts when we visited them in the village during vacations.
I realised because of these small incidents, (many more - but, that's new-post material) I gradually disliked going to my native for vacations, family functions...
All these so-called family functions were missed most of the time because of exams, work, tests - very convenient and always supported by my parents!

I loved draping the saree on me when I was young...
I always dreamt that after I completed studying and started working, I would drape myself elegantly in beautiful sarees and go to work and my colleagues and friends would notice how I bought 3 new sarees every month!

Then, as I grew up, and people around me started insisting that I was all "grown up", I resented the saree, for it represented a house wife, someone docile and traditional, who stayed with her dominating in-laws... (Don't ask from where these ideas were got from!!! however, ludicrous they maybe, it was true!)
So, I unlearnt how to wear and love the saree and didn't bother with it till recently.


My mother hated the shirts, big and out of shape ones which I wore. I loved them, because, funnily, it made me look unattractive!
When I was doing my graduation, I wore them a lot, along with loose-fitting clothes, saying that they are comfortable.
The real reason being, it made me look unattractive. Boys, marriage proposals wouldn't bother an unattractive girl in jeans and huge specs!
And I would be left alone to pursue my studies so that I could get a job!
It was only after I started my post-grad that I stopped wearing loose fitting clothes, because all my relatives didn't like the fact that I was studying and not making babies!

And gradually, they stopped bothering my parents as well...
So, now, I don't wear loose fitting clothes, I know how to drape a saree and look nice.
I love wearing all colours and not just "light shades" because I am "dark skinned"!
I am what I am and I hate putting on appearances just to please others (Read, relatives!)
I still put on appearances sometimes while visiting my grandfather...

I still fight with my mother to wear bangles while visiting the said relatives...
I still thank my parents for shaping me and for influencing me to be the person I am today.
I still love my sis and my husband with the same passion in different ways after all these years...(I think I started to love my sis when I was 10 or 12, till then she was this annoying little twit in my life!!!)
I still love ice cream and rain and the cold weather...
A hot cup of coffee, a good book, a warm hug always make me happy!
A few good friends, dignity, respect, happiness, good job, decent bank balance, a husband to go home to and a family to love and respect is what I have always wanted...

Still searching for a cause to support for its sake and not for tax rebate...
I still feel just as strongly as I did when I was 12, about discriminations, harassment, inequality, gender bias...

The difference now is, knowing when to shut up and when to raise my voice!

11 comments:

~nm said...

I know what you mean but luckily neither my parents nor my grandparents were that conservative.

Its very true that its the parents who mould the child and now that I'm a parent myself I understand this fully :D

Renu said...

Now know that scenario is same everywhere, in all the households, i felt the same and now u saying it makes me wonder..havent we changed at all?
very interesting post, loved reading it:)

Galadriel said...

that was beautiful.. for once, if wish people would stop using the words "she's dark but pretty".. why BUT??? why not just pretty? you don't look at a fair girl and say "she's fair but/and pretty" do you? why is it implicitly assumed that if you're fair you're good looking by default?and we say racism exists in the west.

wisegirl said...

nice touching post... and no none of it ever affected me because i lived in a different world. real people didn't matter:)

Ritu said...

I love this post - this journey from a secure child to a rebellious teen to a person comfortable in her own skin is common to all Indian women I think. It reminded me of my own. I am glad you stopped by to comment on my blog - it led me here to this wonderful post.

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

Oh that thing about pleasing relatives ... I hated it growing up ... I still hate it.

rayshma said...

love this post, pix! :)
very beautiful!

writerzblock said...

Hi Pixie,
Stumbled across your blog from Ritu's. Sure glad I did. I can so completely identify with the 'dark skinned' compliments that people so condescendingly offer. Nice post.
Cheers..
Pal

churningthewordmill said...

i can appreciate ppl being tradition(and almost conservative) but only in a limited way...when it starts dictating to me what i can or cannt do with my life, i find it hard to bear.but i do try to speak my mind as politely as i can...especially when dealing with elders... sometimes i tk the support of humour or wit to et my point across..
this a lovely post..very personal.
mandira

Pixie said...

@Everyone: I guess it was easier because of my folks and few good friends and my own mind, which told me I was Not wrong in my views!! :-)

Lively said...

Loved this post Pixie. Seemed like you were reading my mind all through the post. What all we go through as children and how perspective changes. Kudos to you to have become what you are now! :)