by Ria Kapoor
5:09pm, 5th October, 2016
“It will be a difficult, difficult world to be a woman” Amitabh Bachchan’s words throw such honesty down at his granddaughters, who led him to pen down a vastly descriptive, frank and open set of words for not only the two young ladies but also for each womenhood embracing being in this sceptically free world.
Its true that our minds have become so used to another four letter word that it doesn’t bother us anymore to think or to concenterate upon what tossing around the word ‘rape’ would actually mean and how much of a jolt it would bring to our own mindsets and mentalities. It makes much sense when Farhan Akhtar, in a letter to his sixteen year old writes, “What do I tell my daughter? That she’s growing up to be a lamb for the slaughter.” Its surprising how we’ve expected our daughters to know, from the very start about how the definition of being a woman comes, not from what they are, but explicitly from what the society thinks of their being. It very often happens that a certain kind of discomfort settles down our nerves, down our skin on occasions and in times of speaking to our own daughters, own sisters and even our own wives about how they’re masters of their own liberty and freedom.
Image source : ibnlive.in
Womenhood is not just a state we’re born in. It’s much much more that that. Than just existing, just living in it. Its more than just bearing another life for nine consecutive months. Its more than bleeding from the intimates of our body for five days every month. Its more than, what you’ll call being ‘just’ a woman. Yet, we tag along the state of our births, of being the ‘weaker’ sect of the society that worships goddess Laxmi even after the drools and dwells of currency at their doorsteps. Its as common as the breaths you take while you read me here, when the society is going to tell your daughter to dress ‘modestly’ and when the length of her skirt is going to define her character.
“Acche ghar ki ladkiyan sharab nhi peeti.”
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That’s precisely how ‘Pink’ a recent Amitabh Bachchan starer defines the image of women in common, everyday minds. For men, its never the same. Never will be. For them, drinking has, is and will always, always be a health hazard while for a woman a drink in her hand would always define which home she walks out of at nights.
“How much money did you ask for?” is the first question thrown at a woman’s face in a legal proceeding in the nation we reside in, irrespective of the fact that the lady’s image counts equally well as the man in the scene.
It makes me happy, being a woman, to know that words have finally, finally started escaping male mouths. Almost like pink is no more just a feminine colour, a feminine benchmark. It is indeed a matter of pride and joy to have eminent personalities like Amitabh Bachchan and Farhan Akhtar write to their young women. It has been rather encouraging to see how men are themselves pertaining to send out to the important ladies in their lives, messages about womenhood and how its one of the most unique and beautiful states to exist in.
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Farhan’s letter beautifully draws out the picture of how his growing daughter might have a lot of questions in her mind about how the industry her father works for, showcases women as nothing but objects in the hands of men and how activities like stalking have been increasingly becoming a tag for ‘falling in love’ to which Akhtar replies, in a very very polite tone that he and his wife have been very careful about being open to their daughter in terms of being frank about what feels and what doesn’t feel right to her feminine brain. While on the other hand, Bachchan talks about how his granddaughters carry prestegious legacies on their tender shoulders and goes on to explain to them how being a woman is as difficult as beautiful in this world and tries to make them understand about the times when they might encounter doubts in their respective minds about why this world carries a fake, coated and rusted definition of the word ‘free.’
Image source : lightscamerabollywood.com
Change doesn’t come overnight. Never has, never will. But on hearing men talk about the shortcomings of their own gender based and gender dominated society, often brings hope down the road for the relatively ‘weaker’ and often mistaken as ‘equal’ gender of our breathing society.
To end this on a hopeful and beautiful note, it won’t be wrong to quote Mr. Akhtar, talking to his daughter, giving her all the support he can and lending her a hand to hold while she embraces womenhood gracefully.
He writes, closing his letter on a subtle shade,
I understand you little girl
Your rage, your surprise
Your confusion about the beast in human disguise
I stand with you, little girl, I stand with you
I’m sure his sixteen year old is going to be proud for all the number of times she sits down to read her father’s words while they send out a very new, very crisp and supportive shade to her thoughts.
Feature Image source : indianexpress.com