Being a born and brought up as a typical middle-class Bengali woman, I always feel enthusiastic during the months of September and October. It is a prelude to “Debipokho,” which marks the beginning of matriarchal power. I don’t know why, but I also feel very powerful and aggressive during this time of the year. I think it is probably because I have been playing the role of Devi Durga in my mind, since my childhood, every year as I watched the Doordarshan programs, specially created for the “Mahalaya.”
Usually, I don’t like to be an eye-catcher. I hate being in the limelight because it is always accompanied by a bundle of controversies and gossips. Needless to say, I have been a gossip queen, throughout my life :-p. So, I choose to procrastinate and enrich myself throughout the year. But, it is usually during this time of the year, that I feel mentally and emotionally drained. I feel like gathering my weapons and simply killing it. I know that this feeling is an outburst of my bitter experiences in the patriarchal society, which neither my family members can understand, nor my boyfriend can contemplate.
People often say that I make a big deal out of small issues. But, that is merely the partial truth. I am a futuristic person, I can foresee the future. I can see, that these petty issues have the potentiality to form the shape of a heinous crime against women!
Image: Essay by IAS Paper
Over the past few days, my Facebook wall has been flooded by dynamic posts, by the educated youths of our country, because the Indian government made a bold move. I myself, felt proud of my country because my country has acknowledged that “queerness” is NOT abnormal. But, how progressive is the society where our government is planning to apply the laws? Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go, because the fight is still on.
Being a confident, bold, independent individual of 28, I often worry about my future. Whenever I think, about the fact, how I want to see myself after 10 years, I see myself and a talented, hardworking, passionate working professional, whom everybody knows in the Entertainment Industry. Even in my worst dreams, I cannot imagine myself playing the role of Mrs. X, whose hands would be tied immediately by the society. I won’t be allowed to go out in the public and talk openly about my struggles.
Despite coming from a conservative Bengali family, I have never been quiet. Initially, my family misunderstood my moves and thought it was absolutely kiddish to talk about my personal experiences publicly (Even now, they compare my mental age to my one-year-old nephew :p). Thankfully, they criticize me and guide me now; they hand me valuable resources and tools to continue my fight, and I love them for that. They never tried to hold me back, from protesting or speaking up for myself. They helped me to practice public speaking because I am an introvert person (when it comes to my feelings) and refine my language. They taught me, how to compel people to listen to me and to find my own weapons, to make people listen to me.
As I shifted to Mumbai, I realized that I just wanted to work desperately. I wasn’t trying to detach myself from my roots. Thanks to the all-new #digitalindia and the improved internet and telecommunication systems, I could stay connected not only to my city, my family, my professors, but also the literature, culture, traditions, and art.
As a creative person, I keep drawing my inspirations from all my personal experiences and observations. I boast myself as a commendable observer because I am a student of Film Studies :p. But, my mind is constantly flying from the “Westeros” to “Hogwarts;” from Gurgaon to San Francisco; from Kolkata to Mumbai. So, what do I do? I listen to everybody, every story I come across, because the bard of India, Rabindranath Tagore says:
“Jekhane dekhibe chai, uraiya dakho tai, paileo pitae paro amulya rattan.”
[Dig inside every heap of ashes; you might just get lucky enough, to find a precious gem.]
This is the most precious and powerful gift, that my father presented to me (apart from bringing me into this beautiful world), education. He did everything; just two get his two daughters educated. He wanted us, to be a good human being first, rather than rich or powerful. Despite being a reputable businessman (who is known for his goodwill), my father is also a social activist. For me, he is no less than a saint, because he has taught me that “all that glitters is not gold” and that “every dark cloud has a silver lining.” My father is that kind of a person, who is ready to give up his everything, for the betterment of the society. He lives like such an ordinary person, that nobody realizes his worth unless he opens his graceful mouth. Despite being under tremendous mental stress, he never forgets that there is a little girl from a slum area of Kolkata, whose college fees are pending. Even though, I fight with them frequently, because we often differ from each other, there is no harm denying the fact, that I am what I am today, because of my father and my entire family.
I am using my post, to reach out towards all the parents of the country and the would-be parents, to urge them to welcome a child only if they are ready to accept them, the way they are; to equip them with the necessary tools to survive in this ruthless world, which no longer rotates at the same speed. The world now moves at lightning fast speed. We need to assist our younger generation, offer them the necessary tools to survive and to emerge as a fighter.
Don’t hold her back, don’t destroy her innocence at a tender age or else she will emerge as another Devi Durga or maybe a Daenerys Targaryen (with a lot of fire inside and burn you down with just a “Dracarys”:-p).
Dear parents, kindly welcome a sensitive child in your family, only if you are ready to nourish her intellect and teach them to be a fighter, or an achiever, rather than playing the victim card. You will also feel safe, if you decorate her ten invisible hands, with the weapons, so that she can fight back. I am not ready for parenting yet, are you?