If you have to slot me under 'Spoilt Modern Indian Women', that's where I sit well.
Not the badass types who would actively attacks society for its ass-ine nature.
(Too self-absorbed to work for a larger good.)
Not the diva with an unrealistic sense of superiority.
(Too distracted to harbor grand fantasies.)
That said - if there is anything I have worked diligently towards is to follow my whims and treat myself well.
And of course, tackle whatsoever be a threat to them--'sanskaar', sexism, social pressures, emotional entanglements etc.
It hasn't been easy for me and it has perhaps been equally unsettling for others. Yes, it's 2016 and yet the labels 'spoilt' and 'modern' are handed out generously to women. For looking and speaking in a certain way, for not being married by a certain age, for not working in tradition-approved fields. For exercising your choice to shape your life, your way.
Clap, clap to the 'progressive' portrayal of the modern Indian women in popular culture.
The truth is, not many are comfortable with women who walk the 'my life, my choice' line in real life.
The 20's, as the listicle culture has made us believe, is a period of exploration, experimentation and self-discovery. Its gift of self-awareness, open-ness to experience and hazy excitement isn't something I would possibly trade for anything. Yet it has comes at a price of constant badgering and jibes. Here are a few samples: 'Girls don't...' , 'You are almost a guy', 'By this age, most women...' , 'Live like a girl' and so on.
My femininity forever has been under the scanner.
The judging of 'not being woman enough' isn't by a single gender - both men and women are unfamiliar and uncomfortable with an autonomous woman in India.
If I had worked on building some conventional "feminine" creds - my 20's would have been depressingly comfortable.
My experiments with short hair are to largely blame for this perceived lack of femininity. My inability to tackle frizz has been often mistaken as DSI, rebellion and non-conformism. Drop by my Facebook profile and "oh you looking like a girl here" comments aren't hard to find. An acquaintance once kindly advised me I should grow my hair to be marriageable. I once had a lovely eyesore of a boss who asked me to consult someone for fashion tips while working on a fashion brand as I lacked them completely.
I treat me well - I take myself out for films, long drives, walks. My love for solitude has usually been received with dismissive "lonely hogi?" stares.
My "un-feminine" pursuits are endless. It includes non-giggly conversations about topical issues, holding salary negotiations, going on road trips, checking out shady bars, non-committal relations etc.
What my 20's turbulence has helped me with is to formulate my brand of feminity- a rich malleable flavor infused with my flaws, my strengths , my passions, my comfort levels, my social pressure intake.
Owning, honing, refining and being secure of it is my task for the future.
Chin-up to all you other Spoilt Modern Women out there!
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