By Moumita Adhikary.
My grandmother told me Ramayana story four times when I was young. My grandmother was a widow old woman and had become sort of helpless like me when I was too young so we used to be very fond of those Ramayana epic story telling hour.
My mother never brought me up telling Ramayana stories. I was aware of the hard reality every now and then that my mother was not happy in her marriage, she never wished be a housewife and continue the marriage hence and so much, and used to curse her in-laws family as she was not treated well at home and had almost no social recognition. Family from my maternal home was never treated well mostly at our house, their visits were restricted.
The only belief I have that my parents did not divorce as we were nuclear family of three – my father, my mother and me since 1988. There were hard day and there were fair day too.
I understand my mother’s grievances as I have witnessed partiality and ill treatment my mother and me too used to receive mostly. Moreover, my maternal home became of dead people since 1988 starting with my grandmother, then grandmother, next my youngest aunt in May 1995. I never thought my mother would die so soon in 2014 at the age of around 48year only. Even on my mother’s funeral, nobody from my maternal home had received an invitation or encouraged to visit me/our house unlike some people who I actually did not invite on my own.
I had heard my mother’s grievances so much since I was young. I used to stay quiet as I used to become embarrassed when I was told these. I never told these to others for I could relate on my own as per her saying that my mother was not respected much in family decisions, etc and looked down upon because of her native land of different native language speakers in Bihar. My maternal home and mother was a Bengalee.
I have always hated shout loudness, threats, forced compulsions, ill treatments, lack of acceptance socially. I was a girl child. I could sense life was/is difficult for me. Though I could realise who all did not like/love me or was not affectionate to me for what reasons, still it was suffocating and I knew my mother was the only one who could address and understand my grievances. Now that she is gone I hardly have anyone to actually speak up about my similar grievances like I used to do.
To be honest, when my mother died, I was partially happy for her as I knew she had prayed for year to die early to set free her soul which I did not wished or liked. Today I miss her and write up as I really do not have a shoulder to cry upon, an empathy to hear all my girly grievances. This is sad but real.
My mother was a homemaker, unable to earn money on her own. But she had brought me up and whatever she had done was for my well-being. All my mother and me ever wanted that I be able to work and earn and become financially independent, nothing less, nothing more. I was supposed to fulfil my mother’s dream once too to become financially independent. By the time I was growing up, my mother and me could shed tears and wipe off tears of each other for similar grievances. I never liked people and incidents when and where my mother was insulted however, I had a slave tendency to avoid quarrels, conflicts for I knew I had no money of my own almost. I used to talk less, but I really liked anyone who used to respect my mother.
Nobody told me, but in my subconscious mind it was always there that a woman is not meant only to bear a child. These sounds big words however truth. Not a person taught me to be biased about feminism, womanhood but the fact is I have hard memories for being a girl child, and with little knowledge and wisdom I have come across concerns on womanity and related things mostly from women probably for the very basic reason that women actually suffers for being women but men would seldom do. Not to forget, any attempt to help womanhood towards anything good from men too if at all. Men and women co-exists in a society, nothing great can be build upon only with tears of women in terms of oppression of men.
And Yes, I cannot bear questions on my parent’s wedding reasons, etc after my mother’s death. All I can say, I have noticed anyone who does that never ever visited my mother or mostly was not a desired guest at our house in my mother’s presence or possibly now too. I sense evil motives. My mother was a shield to me, she never let me face or let me do any arranged marriage talks for me or let me get arranger marriage. Now that mother has passed away, I find it tough in reality.
My mother always disliked the fact that her consent was asked directly to her in my parent’s marriage, instead a permission was taken from my grandfather. Eventually, it was considered that asking my mother for anything was not required at home or outside which she hated and so did I. So actually I was/am no different from my mother at least in this regard. After my mother passed away if anything goes wrong to me like my mother was treated I admit become extra angry on that for my mother too. For marriage, off course, the bride and the groom are required to give consent I believe so that there is no room for grievances later.
Please respect women.