(in inspiration of BBC’s documentary, India’s daughter)
Dear India’s Sons,
When you first came into this world, I carried you in my arms, I thought of the 280 days that i carried you around from home to the workplace to the market, and the sight of the blink of your eyes made all of it worth it. One second cured the pain of a hundred hours.
Everyday after I watched you, your first smile to the first time you clenched my hands. For the first time in my life, it felt like there was some magic in this god forsaken world. When you took your first steps i thought of all the great places those tiny feet would take you someday. Maybe you could become a prime minister, maybe a doctor, maybe a teacher. You were already such a big blessing in my life i could only picture the blessing you would be to this world.
When you first learnt the alphabets you thought they were so beautiful, you would write them down on the floor, on the walls, every knowledge you punched in that brain had to be on full display in our home. The days you started enjoying the grounds more than my arms, it felt like a small goodbye already, to see you grow up was an experience that was beautiful as well as it was heartbreaking. After having watched you every step of the way, watching you step out of the house was always hard, what if you hurt your knee, what if people were rude to you. My little wonder to be just another among the crowd was not acceptable to me.
But when i see you now, i don’t regret having given birth to you, i regret having been born. How could my womb foster a monster. You dig into the same place you came out of, and afflict it like you were born to do it. And then you go on to say it is your right, for the woman, the same woman who was created exactly as the one who nursed you to life, the same woman who was to be a mother to a son like i was to you, you say that woman deserves pain. Why? Because she is out in the streets like food. Would you ever consider your mother to be a food in the street just because it got a little dark while she was out?
My son, the videos I am watching there are men here saying, that men like you like to create damage to women like me. When you create this damage, do your eyes shine the same way they did when you first learnt to clap your hands? There are men here saying that we, the women are responsible for this damage done to us. I wonder if i have worn my saree wrong all these years, maybe i shouldn’t have let my waist be shown. Maybe the dupattas should have been thicker. Maybe salwars are too revealing. The metropolitan cities, where women are working 9 to 7 and beyond, where leisure time is only after the pm, are they all out waiting to be damaged by you? Do all these women deserve damage too?
Your smile still heals my torn soul, and your steps bring me joy when they come towards me. But, you have taken all the magic away and made this a godforsaken world. You have hastened the heartbeat of every other women like me, you have filled hearts with fear, hearts that return home from work with shaky limbs wondering if every corner is their last. Checking every pair of eyes around her in hopes they are not having visions of tearing her apart. You have instilled guilt in us for watching a movie in a theatre. You have made every other women question her every piece of clothing, wondering if her outfit could be the blame of a damage. You say women need to be protected, but son, from who else but you? Your lips worship me, but your deeds have done so much damage, every birth at the hospital is done in fear of giving life to a monster, a life lived for causing damage to the same woman who has given birth to him.