I have been thinking a lot about marriages lately. Especially in patriarchal societies where women depend a lot upon their husbands. I know it sounds quite anti-feminist, but hey, thats the truth as I see it. For a woman to make it in the man’s world, she needs to be tough, strong, wise, hard working etc etc. For a man, he just has to be a man – whatever that means. While widows in India are finding re-marriage as a viable option, there is still a lot of resistance in some places.
I lost my father at a pretty young age. Coming from a well-educated family, I expected that my mother will not have to look like the picture of mourning. He who had to leave, did. She who had to live, died. She was forced by her “close family” to take off all the signs of being married, stop wearing bright colors, tabooed at certain auspicious events such as weddings etc. My beautiful mother who loved colors and jewelry was now suddenly reduced to a shadow of her being – forever destined to be hidden in the dark. She mourns his death every single day, why should she have to mourn her life as well? Suddenly, she was no longer “socially acceptable” since she was a lone wheel no matter where she was invited. People didn’t know what to talk to her and in their awkwardness they pushed her further into the corner. I just wanted to ask all those people who had never thought twice about seeking her advice before – was she more wise when my father was alive? Has his death stolen her wisdom?
If there is one thing that I have understood its this – the society doesn’t allow a woman to live without a man. Oh, there may be exceptions, but they are far in between and the words used to describe them aren’t very respectable.
My 6 words story of the day? His heart failed. Her life stopped.