A couple of days back, I read this post on the Indian Homemaker’s blog where a girl had written to IHM with her queries about life, something which I thought was indeed very genuine. It goes like this:
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………..
Read the full letter here
It was a very genuine thought that had crossed the mind of the young Indian woman in the letter. Born into a family which treated her as equals (the best thing is that she fought for it, whenever she felt she had got a bad deal [*respect*] ) with a person of the opposite sex (which by the way is not very common in my part of the world), she was afraid whether she would find a guy who would treat her in the very same way, meaning sharing the same thought process as her. This reply to her, is in many ways the sentiment echoed by the average Indian man who would be very much willing to treat his woman in the same equal terms as himself, thus sharing the same thought process (I know there aren’t many, but still ).
Dear woman in the letter,
First up, thanks for bringing up this dilemma of yours into the forefront. You have echoed the sentiments of a very many number of women in this country, who have probably thought of this aspect at some point in life. As someone from the opposite sex who is a believer in equality and equal opportunities, I would like to tell you that there is indeed hope for people like us.
Though I must confess that I do represent only a minority of men who would want his woman to be treated equally well as he is. But then the fact remains that if you are patient enough and have the mind to stick by what you think is right for you, there is a good possibility that you will end up finding Mr.Right. It might mean having to deal with the pesky neighbors, nosey aunts among others, who might end up branding you as being “demanding and choosy”, but don’t you think life is worth the wait for the right man?
Having given you the bright side, I got to tell you one more aspect of it, namely the alternate view. The predicament that we are in, you might also be well advised not to keep your hopes very high on this. And I have my own reasons for saying this. I represent the opposite sex which has been accused of not living upto the expectations of the womenfolk in all universe (the converse is also a very well debated topic, but for many different reasons mostly). I do not have any explanations in my defence as to why many of my women friends who have recently been married, ended up coming out of it because they felt that the guy they got married to, was so much different from the guy who was in love with them a couple of years before they ended up in wedlock. Reasons, which I am not really proud of.
On the being single debate and its viability, ending up being single for the rest of your life is better than being married to the wrong person. If you thought that the fear of getting married to the wrong person was just a woman thing, you might be surprised to know that you are wrong. Again it comes to being a minority but then, there are men in this country who have the same fears as you have echoed here. And some of them have succumbed to the pressures and ended up with the wrong person, only either to struggle through the ordeal without any positives or to come out of the relationship, bruised and battered, with what was a horrible past.
Lastly, I just want to say one thing. I, for one, believe that I will never end up being with someone who is not even remotely compatible with me. I am seeing someone even now (someone I know for like 8 years, been in an in and out thing for like the last 2 and the like) as I write this letter, but it remains to be seen if she will end up being a part of my life. And that’s the thing about being of the same thought process (not gender equality as in your case but then, that should be a story for another day) and the fact that I will only listen to what my mind says about this and none else. So as you can see, it ain’t any piece of cake, but it is definitely worth the try. Because we have only one life and its always a comforting feeling to realize when you are old, that you have lived life thus far in your own terms rather than succumbing to the pressures of the people around you. I don’t know if I made things easier for you with this letter, but then you are not alone if that makes you feel any better.