I stand at the back of my roof, facing the radio tower rising high into the sky. It is a hot summer evening but the hottest days have passed. I looked to the right and see her working through her open door.
Her body bent as she works to keep stitching dresses of other people.
Why did she get marry?
I think to myself. She is my friend's mother and from early on I had known they were poor.
"Her husband is unemployed, isn't he?"
"Yes. Was fired from his job for money laundering." My mother says.
"She must be tired, working, cooking, taking care of children?" I ask.
"Of course but the worst part isn't even that. Her husband constantly insults her. One time she was ill, her husband scolded her for trying to hog attention and then the next day she finally fainted. Her children got her admitted in the hospital. Her husband didn't even let the doctors complete the treatment and brought her back."
I am shocked to say the least. I had heard such stories before and they had always stuck me as odd, but never had I felt about this issue so strongly.
I think about my mother's friend who lives abroad with her family. She is a literate woman, who graduated from one of the best colleges of the country at her time.
Even she calls mother every day and complains about her husband's harassment. She is from a well to do family, but is harassed for not having a job, for not having a perfect body, for not being drop dead gorgeous.
And suddenly the picture clears in my mind.
If a woman uncomplainingly does house work, she is still beneath the status of a man, as she doesn't earn. If she does earn for her house, she will be slighted for not doing house work.
Even if she does both, even then, the husband would have the right to keep pushing his weight around, and being obnoxious at every given opportunity. I think about all those times when even my own father taunted my mother - Your fault, Your kids, Your bad teaching.
And suddenly I start wondering.
Why do women even get married? Isn't it easier to just live alone? Ladies can take care of themselves and even take care of the people around her just fine. I have seen examples all around. Why do they have to submit to someone, whose only merit is being born with a 'Y' chromosome. Just because society demands it?
"I am never getting married,"I say.
Mother laughs. She thinks I am being funny.
"Oh, of course you will. I will find a nice boy for you."
I deny, but inwardly I wish for her to be right. All those movies and novels showing 'love' and 'good marriage' as the most pleasurable thing to ever happen to mankind, have left their mark on me. I too wish to be married. A happy married life.
Maybe I will get lucky I think. Maybe mine would be the exceptional case. But perhaps I am being naive. Perhaps its the hormones talking or perhaps my genes, that want me to hurry up and pass them on to the next generation. I don't care.
I will never let someone walk all over me. No matter who. I decide. I will become a person who respects herself, and then I will make the person in front of me respect me as well. And if he doesn't respect, I won't respect him either. I will leave him, or perhaps I will ask him to live his life while I live mine, with no interference. Perfect strangers sharing the same house. It doesn't sound all that bad to me.
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