Women from earlier eras, I’m referring to the time period before the 1970’s, mostly lived their lives idolising their fathers, husbands or brothers.At the time it was a male dominated society and women were not allowed to express themselves in most traditional Indian homes.
The only change I saw growing up, was that more women had started going out to work and had started exercising a few liberties. At home though, she was still expected to finish her daily household duties before she left for work outside and do it all again when she returned home later. Whether she was well or unwell, tired or not, was immaterial, especially for those living in joint family setups.

Some were also being ill-treated by their in-laws and husbands. They dared not raise their voice or else faced dire consequences of being physically, mentally or emotionally abused. Those who had the courage, left these abusive homes, and those who didn’t, well, continued to live with all the brutalities, believing it to be their karma and destiny.

As many girls grew up idolising their parents ,doing whatever they were told to, with no real liberty to make any decision about their lives, no choice in what subjects they wanted to study, what career to pursue or the man they ended up marrying! And after her marriage, her life was supposed to revolve around her husband and his family only.

When did she get time to live life her way, or dream..if she had any left at all!
She was supposed to give birth and that too only to a boy child and having a girl child was seen as a curse..they were not allowed to be born (as if males alone could do the job of reproduction!).The blame and shame of not bearing a son also fell directly on her already burdened shoulders!

Husbands were supposed to be God, The ‘Pati Parameshwar’. And If due to any reason the husband died, the woman was to stay a widow and remain loyal to him.It was a great taboo in society to remarry, and she was instead expected to now live only for her children or even with the stigma of being the cause of death of her husband. On the other hand, if the wife passed, men could remarry pretty soon.

I’d really like to know why!Doesn’t a woman need a life partner who can understand her and support her on all levels?Do women not have have needs, desires or dreams? If a women rebelled in those times or re-married, the families and society at large would boycott, shame or ostracise her in ways that would completely ruin her life.

These days, its incredibly inspiring to see many men helping out their partners with chores .They are being supportive in every way possible and sharing parenting responsibilities equally, even changing baby nappies..And I guess that is the beauty of creating a life and relationship together , working and growing with balance and mutual support.

Women of those olden times who suffered, still continue to suffer and perpetuate it, as they have become conditioned and brainwashed. I wish they could just open up and start living life on their own terms one day, breaking free from all the shackles that tie them down..I urge and encourage women of all ages and backgrounds, to please wake up, gather your strength, unleash your dreams and live the life you want…if not now, then when?

Stand up and speak for yourself, do what makes you happy. Kindness begins at home, with your own self. Find your “Me Time” and enjoy it! Spend time with yourself, eat, read, gossip, pray or nurture your old forgotten hobbies, learn skills you’ve always wanted to learn, but couldn’t find the time or freedom to pursue.Its never too late!

Life is moving fast, and it is a short, beautiful journey, so do now what you have to, than having any regrets when it’s too late. Life has to to be lived, so we might as well live it right; gracefully and joyfully!

Live. Love. Laugh. Give . 😊

PS: A special thanks to Dimple and Vanika Om ❤️❤️

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Rekha Arora

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