When I'm born,I'm jeered at.When I'm a child,I'm made to believe that my reason for existence is somebody else.While I'm growing up,I'm discouraged to question.My brain and heart are numbed.I cannot die too,since it will bring infamity to my family.People would say,"At this age,what could have forced her to terminate herself ? She failed to materialize her fantasy.Such bad morals." I fast for the well-being of my father and brothers.When I outgrow my frocks,I'm let off to another household.There, I work for others, without pay.I have children but they treat me like a door-mat.Here too,I fast for my husband's and childrens' long,peaceful life.When the man of the house,who happens to be my "husband" dies,I shed a part of my soul.I have no right to live then,I just breathe and sit in a corner.Rest of my life is spent in praying-for death.They say, "Woman needs a man.In childhood,its father.In youth,its husband and in old age,its son."All my life,I don't live for myself.I live to make others happy."Live" is a misnomer,I exist.I exist for others.
I try to kill my daughter in my womb.Only because I don't want her to live a life like me.When I finally beget a son,I command my husband's attention and then,slowly influence him to such a degree that he is henpecked for life.I drive out his parents out of "my home".I raise my children in a relatively more liberal environment.When my teenaged son takes to smoking,I don't admonish him.I just tell him to stop it,I say it half-heartedly.I secretly desire to show the soceity,"See he's my son.My mother-in-law prayed to God for 6 long years for a heir,only then he was born.Such a nasty son!"The mother in me cries her heart out,but the woman in me smiles.Eventually,my son marries a girl.I nag her for hours on end.Only because I think,if I was ill-treated, so must be she.In the process,I train my daughter(sex-determination tests are'nt always reliable) to be a devil(just like me,now). I become a clone of my mother-in-law.Later in life,my husband dies.I'm secretly happy because he never understood me.He needed someone to look after himself and his household,so he had married me.My position was worse than a maid,I didn't get wages!!Still,I cry a lot,all my clothes,jewellery are removed.A coarse,white sari is my constant companion.My greying hair is shorn off.I turn a veggie(Widows are not allowed to eat non-veg food).My life ends in some old-age home.My son performs my last rites .And yes,if I die while my husband is alive,then I'm called "lucky".A mini-band plays on my way to the burial grounds.It symbolizes that I've kept my word,there is a belief that a bride comes to her husband's house on palaquin and must leave it on her journey to burial grounds.I'm not even allowed to die on my own !I bear a burden of sins which I never meant to do,I learnt it all from life.A bud is nipped and a diabolic tree is nurtured in me.I think I'm born to die.
It happens in India,but in other parts of the world,there are different traditions that bind a woman in chains of "a living hell".You may ask why women are hateful and have hosts of other "villainous" traits.My answer is -As you sow,so shall you reap.When someone is hated,ill-treated and crumpled,she tends to give the same and the cycle goes on.
When and how can it stop?Is it a woman's fault?Or man's?Or of nature?