My whole life has been a struggle. Against my parents, to not confine me for being a girl. Between my parents, who gets to keep the eldest daughter. Against the so called *ghairatmand*, in reality, the *chu*ya* mentality of this society coercing me into a corner, shattering my dreams, and quieting my blunt tongue.
Torn between teh dilemma of my mother and father:
Do something good: meri beti hai, zahir si baat hai.
Make a mistake: tumhari beti hai, tum sambhalo isse.
Never has my mother hugged me and said she was proud of me.
Never has my father appreciated me on anything.
When the time came to choose my field. And I expressed my wishes to pursue cricket professionally, and photography as a part-time profession, hell broke loose.
I was always known as the devious one-the troublemaker-the badtameez child in the family. As a closed off child, I never spoke my mind, carefully concealing all my emotions under a cover of either jokes or rage. Little did anyone know of the tornado brewing up in my young mind.
Are they, repercussions of my actions worth losing my individuality for? Are they, really?
It kept me awake through the night.
Since childhood, I have been bombarded non-stop with statements which make my ears want to go deaf.
*Log kia kahenge*
*larkian ko ooncha bolna zeb nahi deta*
*zubaan chalanay ka haq kisne dia hai tumhe*
*tameez main raho*
*lipstick halki karo*
*dupatta theek karo*
*doosray ghar main kon bardasht karay gah tumhara yeh bachpana*
Don’t talk to much. Don’t laugh too loud. Don’t stay out too late.
Masla yeh hai nah, ke logon ne baat karni hai. Banda jo marzi kar le, baatein zaroor banein gi. Toh behtar hai ke fit in honay ki koshish main, aur apne ghar walon ki so called izzat ka pass rakhne ke chakkar main beshak apne khwaab chaknachoor ho jayen, apni zindagi ka satyanas ho jaye.
Gandhi once said: You will guard your wife’s honour and be not her master, but her true friend. the same goes for mothers, sisters, and any other woman you consider responsible for your respect.
Truth be told, in more than most cases, men do not genuinely give a damn to what happens to their women. Had their *izzat* not been attached to us, they genuinely would have never cared. It is this dubiousness, this hypocrisy, this attitude which is more than apparent to those who can see, which sows the seeds of resentment and rebellion in my heart.
Resentment towards this lowly and backward way of thinking. And towards men, who encourage and enforce their women to bind by it. And also towards women, who raise their sons to do so.
Rebellion: protecting myself, is rebellion. Driving my car alone, is rebellion. Sitting at a dhaba for chaye, is rebellion. Laughing to my hearts content, admist the chatter of my friends, girls as well as guys, is rebellion. Deluding myself into thinking no one is staring, blurring the eyes staring at me with contempt and hunger, and the catcalling into an irrelevant background. It makes me smile a little more, laugh a little louder, feel a little more elated. These what appear to the average Pakistani as wrongdoings, are what give me a sense of freedom. A sense of ownership, I’m responsible for myself, my actions, my protection. In these innocent acts of mine, did I find my mental peace. My spirit to fight, my desire and will to not fit in with what I knew as norms, but make them fit themselves around me.
This is one thing I wish and hope to accomplish. And that, In Sha Allah, I shall.