The Girl I Wanted To Be

The Girl I Wanted To Be

I started living at the age of 45,
That’s around a year after my husband died.

Widow- the word itself consumes. Widowhood is considered a curse.
They said to me to stop wearing bright clothes, not to wear bindis, not to wear makeup and give up dark shades of lipsticks.
I was asked to live in a shell walled by the superstitions of the society for they said that it would show I was mourning.
But will all this bring back the dead?
Till when should a person mourn for the dead one?

Our customs asks a widow to remain in isolation so that there will be no question about her honor.
Will wearing colorful saris and jewelry smudge my character?
They expected me to subjugate myself according to the stereotypical society where everything is supposed to be black and white for me.
I’m not expected to be happy without “HIM” by my side.
But will this compensate the pain of losing the dead?
They told me to stop drinking wine, quit my job, and take care of my children.
I laughed off at them.
They talked as if taking care of my children was a task.
No dear, it’s my instinct.
With or without a husband.

I was doing all the things they asked me to.
I stayed at home when I wanted to study.
I married a stranger instead of the person I loved.
I learnt kathak instead of belly dancing.
What the fuck is wrong with belly dancing?
“It’s a dance for bar dancers” they said.
You see, they had decided how I’m going to live my life by putting my happiness in the box according to their norms.
They were shaping my life in a pattern I could not bear anymore.

The anguish of being branded as inauspicious and a “husband – eater”, made me to rebel.
I refused to succumb.
“I wanted to be a survivor, not a victim,”
So I did what made me happy.
For once, I took the charge of my life in my own hands breaking all the denominators caging me.
I wore dark clothes, bought many lipsticks, drank wine and started dating again.
At 45, I became what I always wanted to be- Free.
The joy of finding my identity and becoming self-sufficient has been my reward.

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