Friday, September 13, 2013

Give me wings!

I am a daughter, a wife, a sister. I am a woman. I want to feel free, breathe easy, move around, without the lines of worry showing up on my forehead. Give me wings, for I want to fly, reach the pinnacles of success and stand on my feet. Give me wings, for I want to fly…

I’m an ambitious woman. I like being busy, I like working hard. I don’t crib about workload, of having to juggle the roles a working woman and a housewife everyday. I like moving around, I like being independent. But, I don’t like being scared. I don’t like it when people are worried for me, when family needs regular updates. Give me wings, I say, for I want to fly.

But how can I fly when my wings are clipped? How can I soar to heights when I am caged? I panic, try to escape. But is there any way out?

The Telangana bandh had crippled Hyderabad, or at least, parts of it. My colleague was kind enough to pick me up, and one way of the journey was negotiated. But, “Leave before 4 pm,” he warned me, saying as dusk would start setting in, it would get increasingly difficult for me to get back home, ‘safe’. I was worried - there were no buses, and autos didn’t look like a safe option either. So, I decided to book a cab, and be ‘safer’.

Thanks to some confusion, the cab driver had reached a place a bit ahead of where my office was. So, I had to walk for a good 20 minutes before I could reach the place where my cab was waiting. And in the 20 minutes that I took to reach, my phone had gone bonkers, buzzing incessantly. My mother wanted to know where I was, my husband wanted to know the same, too. The cab driver was getting antsy, asking me how much time would it take. My dad wanted to know my whereabouts, my worried mom-in-law called, too.

As I approached my cab, sweating in the sweltering heat, a drunk guy, out of the blue, popped right in front of my face, yelling “Jai Telangana” and walked away, the stench of alcohol making bile rise in my throat.

Even after I took the cab, the phone kept buzzing, with my mom, dad and husband asking for regular updates. For a moment, I wanted to fling the damned piece of technology out of the window, but I slipped myself into their shoes.

If I were a mother, wouldn’t I want to know where my young daughter is; whether she is safe, whether the cab driver is a decent fellow, whether she’ll reach home safe? If I were a husband, wouldn’t my wife’s safety run on my mind all the time? If I were a father, wouldn’t I worry? Yes, I would. So, I patiently answered all the calls, dousing the flames of tension that each one of them was engulfed in.

I got back home, pondering over whether there would be a day in my life, when I could travel alone, relieved that my family is tension free? Would that day come, when mothers, fathers, husbands, brothers wouldn’t worry about the safety of the girls of their families?

I am a daughter, a wife, a sister. I am a woman. I want to feel free when I walk down the street. I don’t want to be worried that some stranger is lurking around, waiting to pounce on me. I don’t want to be conscious, I don’t want to be scared. I want to be independent, I want to be confident. Give me wings, for I want to fly…