In the wake of what has been happening in the capital post the Delhi rape case in December, the common man has taken it on himself to be heard, to fight violence, to amend laws, to demand justice, to inculcate a value system.
Women all over the world need to be respected and not victimised. They need to fight injustices done to their gender. They need to speak up against the killing of the girl child, the suppression of women and surprisingly, the dominance of women over women, which occurs too.
Let me tell you an incident I heard the other day, of a young mother in her 30s, married for nine years, who suddenly discovered her child suffered from bipolar disorder. The child needed medication and constant monitoring. Her mother-in-law told her that the in laws would pay for her to divorce their son, and provide well for the child and mother. They would get them a house in the same locality and provide financial help. All the wife needed to do was agree to a divorce, so their son could have a fun-loving life and not one tied down with problems!
Talk about callous, talk about insensitive, talk about victimisation! The poor girl with no income and family in Delhi was scared that her mother-in-law would force her out of the house and out of her marriage. I was appalled when I heard this, but the lady telling me this said, “You don’t know what it is to be cowed down by others.”
I know there are no fairytale endings. No happily ever after. No galloping knights on a white horse. Life is not perfect and neither are we. We are imperfect and not everyone loves us. But that’s okay. One has to work towards a stamp of self-approval daily, always taking the bad times for granted and expecting the unexpected.
Knowing people do not stand by you most times, knowing they don’t mean what they say or say what they mean. You learn to stand up alone and a sense of safety is born. You learn to accept others and their shortcomings at the same time accepting yours, that way you soon learn to forgive and go by instinct, rather than doctrine. You learn you can’t be more beautiful because of your husband or child or home or job.
You are who you are and you need to empower yourself. We are born to empower ourselves and those around us; not to consume every resource on earth. Also, self-approval comes when we learn the difference between guilt and responsibility, the ability to say ‘No’ with wisdom and courage. It’s okay to be weak, to fail, to want things, to need people, it’s good to look into yourself and change yourself before you change the world around you.
Of course, nothing comes without effort, nothing comes without a price, and whatever the price you pay to discover how precious you are, is worth it! Because you are precious. An aircraft needs resistance to fly right. Same way, every obstacle is only a stepping stone to a stronger you!
(The writer is a theatre director and novelist)