An email from a young Indian woman who has seen her parents respect each other as equal partners.
I wanted to share an incidence with you and also what it means in the future, for young Indian women (and men). However, at the outset I would like to clear out something since it features my late maternal grandmother prominently. I loved her immensely and she did too. I know I was destined to spend time with her just a month before her demise, because she genuinely wanted to meet me.
My father since childhood always stressed that girls and boys are equal, each are unique and there are no grounds for differentiation between them. That’s why I have grown up questioning the status quo.
My mother ( C ), including her are 3 sisters ( A, B, C ) and two brothers( D, E ), in order of their ages. Now my B mashi got married before my mother, and within a year she had a daughter. A year later my mother had me. And my nani cried when she heard it, because “Ek aur beti” (‘0ne more girl child’). I learnt about this fact as a kid, and it hit me hard because honestly my nani loved me. When I went over to her place she would get all my favorite foods and would do anything I asked for.
Now my D mama has a son. The ONLY son of the family. So naturally he is spoilt. And my nani would zealously guard his things, from us sisters.
Once during holidays ( around class 6th-7th) when the whole clan was there, my E mama (Maternal uncle) came from Calcutta with goodies. Turned out it was a pencil box for my cousin sister and me, and a video game for my brother. And my anger knew no bounds. THAT day I fought with everybody, broke the pencil box. it just hurt so badly.
And I shouted at my nani and my mama, because my mom had told me that when they were kids, nani would save better portions of non-vegetarian curries for my mamas.
Nobody forgot that day.
Neither did my nani, and after that day she wouldn’t dare anger me, yes she loved me and I think, after that respected me and I do know for a fact that she loved me the most. It’s difficult to change the viewpoints of old people, but overtime, yes I accepted her and forgave her. So yeah, rebel since I was a child… 😀
Coming back to the present, a few days ago, this couple came over to our place. they have two sons, one aged thirty, the other thirty-five. Mind you they are well off enough, you would think they would be modern, but NO. They were lamenting the fact how its tough to find girls for their sons, girls have become demanding, girls are spoilt, they don’t adjust etc.
This set me thinking.
As much as we may like to think we are moving forward. I don’t think so. The matrimonial section is a glaring example. What does this mean for girls like me, who ARE demanding and choosy and have every right to be? I know people will say whatever they have to, tez hain (the girls are over-smart) and etc. I am not concerned about them.
What worries me is, will we be able to find guys like us, who have a similar thinking process?
My father would wash my diapers and got me ready for school etc. My mom hardly ever did all that. But then men like that are far and few in between.
And I do feel companionship is important, yes I would like to get married in future. BUT what if there aren’t any guys like THAT?
How do you deal with a situation like that?
Or can one live alone?
I just feel that somehow I WILL have to adjust and make compromises. and is a GUY SO IMPORTANT??
So what hope do Indian women who have grown up in families where they are respected as equals, have of finding men who think like them?