Friday, April 21, 2006

Feminism in Marriage

Ok, folks, let's all take a minute here and keep silent and be very, very grateful that my project is over. It's been hanging over us since last week and finally, we've done our bit. On Monday we'll dissect it and go over all the places we went wrong -- but for now I have a blessed hour to myself.

It's been such an exhausting sort of week so far and the weekend won't be any different from what I can see. This weekend will be devoted to Goa work, so far as I can see, and, ok, Shuki, I admit it's time. That's my director folks. She complained because she read my blog and found me saying that I'd be glad when this production's over.

Now see, I will be glad, but only because I really need the time to do other things which keep getting postponed. Like, meeting my doctor. Or, trying out some cooking. Sort out my poor little flat. Read The Green Mile and return it to coz J who will in turn return it to the friend whose book it is. Upon reading the list, I think my priorities are a trifle mixed up. But what else would I do? The doc can wait a week (she's a nice sort), but the washing machine and Goa certainly can't.

I wrote some poems in my head last night, and one more a little while ago. But instead of frantically rushing for pen and paper to set them down for later editing, I was content to forget them. Is that a sign of ageing? Or an acknowledgemnt of my inferiority as a poet? Or sheer laziness? I dunno mon. See, time was, when I was different. And now I'm me-the-way-I-am. I'll change again soon enough. So there's not much point cribbing about me-the-way-I-am.

Now, in response to Rimi: In a post she wrote about marriage and women and it reminded me of something I'd been wanting to bring up for the last couple of months. See, this whole marriage thing gets you in ways you don't expect. I mean, I'm a liberated feminist and all that, despite the marrying and staying with the in-laws -- hold on, is that why that ended so disasterously? Hey, I kept my maiden surname! I own skimpy clothes! I have feminist affiliations! Maybe that contributed to the disaster? No maybe, they certainly did -- but no more associations, I was talking about the effect marriage had on me.

Pre-marriage, when I faced heckling on the street, I was always aware that it would perhaps not have happened if I'd dressed more unattractively. I mean, if I dressed up in a pretty saree/salwar kameez I'd get heckled too, but not if I were slouching down the road in ill-fitting, ugly, loose clothes. That's a fact I tested out. Post-marriage though I felt -- and don't ask me why because I only realised I felt this way after I was feeling it -- that somehow the sindoor (the red powder married women wear in the parting of their hair) and loha (iron bangle bound in gold we wear for some reason. Not sure why, but I rather believe if you take it off for a sec you've effectively killed the bloke who entitled you to wearing it in the first place) gave me a shield of immunity from roadside heckling. There was a young boy who tried calling me something along the lines of "Hi Sexy" and I raised surprised eyebrows at him rather than give him the bored glare I keep for such events. Thing is, I was surprised.

Now what on earth brought that about? Maybe it's the culture I grew up in, where marriage maketh a woman. (Spinsterhood/singledom maketh sluts, didn't you know?) It's a highly dubious thing anyway, and boy do I know that, but I still felt that silly, inexplicable way. If I had got married I was damn well protected. Weird.

But it's true too. When I do wear sarees and look rather matronly I get different treatment on buses. Veggie sellers in the market no longer give me that patronising tone I had to face when I used to shop earlier. I wear sindoor. Therefore I must be one of the initiated. With a nod to Wishful, my only response to that will be, Bleady.

I meant to end this post there but I'll add a note to say I'll be unavailable on the net till Monday. So please don't send me emails requiring urgent responses. If anything requires immediate attention, call me. Oh, and those grumbling because I never chat any more, the 'net's off at home (who has the time anyway?) and chatting is against company policy here. Yes, even Googlechat.

5 comments:

indianpeppone said...

As Mr. Manu said eons ago....
".........................
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Nah Stri swatanthramarhati "
:-) (Please dont kill me)

Vasabjit Banerjee said...

Sue,
Hey, this is a wild card, do you know anything about a group called Theatrician? I would be obliged if you can pass Tatha, Dhruv, or Prithvi a message. Apologies for the intrusive request, but I have been attempting to contact them for sometime. They went to school with me a long long time ago. I left for the US and sort of lost touch. You mentioned their group on Greatbong's blog, thus, I contacted you.
Cheers,
Vasabjit Banerjee

Sue said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sue said...

Peppone - You do take advantage of the fact that you live in another country, don't you?

Vasabjit - I do know Theatrician, am working on a play for them happening this Thursday. Tatha is in Cal, Prithvi in Delhi and Dhruv at SRFTI. How do I tell them to contact you?

Vasabjit Banerjee said...

Sorry for the late reply on the Theatrician thing. Please inform any one of them (Dhruv, Prithvi, or Tahta) to send an email to:
vasabjit@hotmail.com

Thanks a bunch for your help,
Cheers,
Vasabjit