How she gained freedom

“If society fits you comfortably enough, you call it freedom.”- Robert Frost

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On the occasion of Indian Independence Day (August 15th), here is a version of freedom for a typical Indian woman.

In a staunchly patriarchal society

Her actions were always governed by propriety

She had freedom to choose- or so she was explained

As long as it within narrow confines remained-

Yes she could play-but the games had to be

Appropriate for a girl, not for mixed company

She could choose her outfits, but they had to be

In color and form, conforming to standards of modesty

Yes she was educated, yet was expected to state 

Her opinions rarely, never indulge in a debate

With elders and men of all ages, for a girl was meant

To be seen, not heard, in the background blend

Yes she could choose her life partner, but he had to be

From a certain kind of family, from the same community

The irony of this situation would be apparent when I say

She was envied by her friends for her freedom, by the way…

**

She also from a very young age learnt

To respect these boundaries, never to be burnt

For life was easier when the rules she obeyed

If there was a charade, along she played

This came very handy as a daughter-in-law

Where they could not find a major flaw..

**

She lived her life in a manner monotonous

Comfortable, well-adjusted, her life free of fuss

But it was lackluster, and she did crave

For some excitement- she longed to be brave

And do something different, break the norm

When she did dare, she felt her image transform

From a woman perceived as subservient

To someone with a mind of her own, self-sufficient

She faced some criticism, but to her surprise

She saw new respect in her family and friends’ eyes

She galvanized the other women around her

To break free from their molds, venture further

They realized that the arbitrary rules they had perceived

As dogmatic were archaic, and change was received

With far less resistance than they had feared

Freedom could be expanded, it so appeared

**

At the end of the day, here’s what I would say-

You just have to live life your own way

Waiting for others’ approval is futile

It is your journey, you go the extra mile!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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