To The Indian Society,

Why do you judge and make me feel guilty if I enjoy or roam around alone? Am I not entitled to independence and freedom?

Why do I take a step back when it comes to career and identity? I have worked hard to make myself who I am. Why should adjustments come naturally to me and not to the man?

Why can’t I enjoy a crowded public place such as a colourful Indian fair without getting groped? Why do I have to think of safety all the time?

Why are always women supposed to suffer behind the scenes? Why are the rules of society more applicable to women than men? Why can’t we catch a break? Shouldn’t we as a society fix these things??

I have learned a lot in this short life, in this hypocrite and materialistic society all by my experience. In a way I have become strong, I don’t cry in front of people rather stay quiet. On one hand, I lost a lot and on the other, I earned and learned a lot.

The moment I’m born to you, I’m perceived in a way, that I’m not. And the moment I start growing, you’ve already started putting me in boxes. I keep growing up forgetting who I am, and what I truly like. But you don’t stop to make me just like how you want me to. With your skirts and long hair plaits, I become just like every other girl of your Indian stereotype.

So, from now on I’ll wear whatever I want to; I’ll do whatever I want to; I’ll spend my life the way I love; I’ll be around things that give me peace and happiness; I’ll set my life goals and will work hard to achieve them. I’ll argue, I’ll fight for my right and take a stand even if I’m designated as that so called “batameez” girl. I’ll think out of the box, I’ll dress the way I want to and I’ll choose my style the way I like. And if I do all this will the society still accept me??

Eventually whatever we do and say won’t make a difference because we’re a part of the society where women cannot be like men no matter how liberal our gathering is. And so, I’m not sure if everyone here can relate to it, but I need the freedom of choice, I need to breathe fresh air, I want to be appreciated for who I am, I want people to accept me the way I am.

P. S.: If anyone of you can relate and agree, just try spreading smiles, hug your sister or friends as she might be going through a tough time, be with them because they might need you, talk to them, listen to them, support them and appreciate them, because if we’re together, we can definitely conquer the world!!

Shivangi Kharbanda

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