Who am I ?
"Mummy Ji, can I go to visit my parents on this Rakshabandhan? My brother is coming from London for two years."
Deepali asked in a meek voice.
"What on Rakshabandhan? and what about your sisters-in-law, who are coming from so far to tie rakhi? You are so insensitive and selfish, you don't understand the depth and importance of relations."
replied her mother-in-law.
After 5 months,
"Mummy Ji, can I go to see my parents, Piku has her winter vacations. I will return in ten days."
Deepali urged to her MIL.
"As if you don't know, I am unable to work in this harsh winter. You never care about my age. Have some compassion in your heart."
Again her MIL dismissed her request.
After 3 Months
This time Deepali was better prepared, she went to her MIL with extra politeness and love, she requested her,
"Mummy Ji, My sister is coming on Holi and after that, she has to go to New Jersey for five years. Can I go to meet her please Mummy Ji?"
But her love, request everything went in vain. As her MIL stared her in anger and said.
"You can't go, DIL is not supposed to go to their parent's house at the festivals. They are Lakshmi of the house."
Deepali came to her room and started crying,
I am only a DIL, what about the daughter, who has taken the back seat. Are my responsibilities only towards my In-laws family? what about my parents, they have given me a birth but they don't have any right on me.
Why a daughter becomes so helpless when it comes to her parents. Why she becomes so dependent on her husband and his family for every decision?
Whether working or non-working, it hardly matters. What matters is just she is a woman and a woman is not free to take her decisions. For her parents, she has to take permission from those people who are comparatively newer in her life.
Why she accepts every decision, why she can't raise her voice, why she can't do whatever she wants to do, why she is not free to express her own choices and opinions. Just because she is a woman and woman can't have freedom
After so many years of Independence, are women independent? The answer is no, they are not. Regardless of working status, education, class, religion, for the smallest thing they have to take permission. Though they are equally capable of everything but their talent and capabilities are overshadowed by their gender always.
At that night without thinking anything else she booked two tickets for her home and announced that she is leaving in two days. Everyone was shocked, her husband asked,
" What do you mean by this? you didn't ask mummy or didn't think to discuss with me?
"Yes I thought but then I realised what is the need? when you don't take permission from me for anything, why would I? just because I am a woman. If as a son you are free to take care of your parents and be with them when they need you, why can't I, as a daughter? Apart from gender, is there any difference between us? why I have to seek permission from you to meet my parents? Why you behave like a mute spectator when your mother says no to my every request? Why I am not free for anything?
Now, this is enough, before any other relation I am a daughter first and my responsibilities towards my parents come first above everything so I am going. Now you understand what I meant."
After two days she boarded the flight with her daughter and felt the first breeze of freedom after so many years. Her eyes had tears but her heart was smiling. Today she felt like a free bird who is going to her nest.