Cover up, someone said as her dress rode up her knees. She was a ten years old, young, happy girl wearing her favorite frock her mom gifted on her birthday. She did not understand what that meant at that moment but she did as she was being told and certainly she did not know what she was signing up for.

Cover up your strap, someone said to her. She was 15 at that time, the growing and teenage phrase of her life. She was introduced to brassier 2 years back by her mom, when she could see the hormonal effect on her daughter’s body. It is a normal process, every girl goes through it and everyone in the world knows that women wear brassier under their clothes. But when someone catches a glimpse of it because her top has slid down a bit, it becomes very embarrassing for the one who pointed it out, and suddenly there is a need to cover it up. It is always a hush hush affair, where every women needs to be aware about their bra showing through their top or not. As if that is the only main concern she has in her life…

Cover up; someone said when she chose to wear a tank top in a hot sunny day. Her shoulder could be seen, but this time she made sure she wore a strapless brassier so that no one could point the strap to her. But then again, there were people who had a problem with the amount of skin showing. It was expected from her to dress up from head to toe in a hot sunny day, because skin showing is just not acceptable and it is plain vulgar for our society.

Your dupatta keeps on falling and I saw that guy staring at you, someone said to her. She looked at her but said nothing. She was her aunt, she was clearly not happy with what she said but she chose not to say anything to her, because it did not really matter. Our society is never going to change; by this time she noticed this pattern where everyone points something or the other no matter what she is wearing. Something is always wrong, either her legs her showing or the neck of the blouse is too deep, her top is too strappy.

Society does not get tired of complaining or commenting. When she came back home from her friends 19th birthday at 1’o clock at night. The neighboring aunty was quick enough to look at how short her dress was, what time of the night it was and who she was with. She was even quicker to make a judgment on how she should not be partying that late at night, as her society does not approve of that sort of behavior. She was not even tipsy but by the next morning half of the aunties in her building decided on how many drinks she might have had the last night. They even warned their own daughters to stay away from her, as she might have bad influence on them.

When they visited to see her elder sister for arrange marriage. She was being told by her relative to stay in another room and not to come out until and unless everything was fixed. This sounded absurd to her, but she chose not to say anything. As it was something deeply engraved in their mind and she could do nothing to change it. Everything works in a very weird way where no one questions anyone anything; if they do they are being rebellious. It is so easy to be tagged these days, like in a jiffy you belong this box called snobbish with thousand other people in it.

It was Diwali she was with her family and wore this emerald green saree with a strappy golden blouse. She looked stunning, but then her uncle had some vibes that made her feel uncomfortable. She thought she might be wrong but then late at night he did grop her from behind and made it seem like, it happened by a mistake. But she knew it was not the case and decided to tell her mother about it the next morning. Her mother was almost in tears and hugged her tightly and said everything will be okay. She acted promptly and asked him to leave their house and not to show his face again. Finally, it was a ray of hope. Someone who understands and does not judge mindlessly or makes an opinion on the basis of how short her clothes is or what time of the night it is. She was so tired of hearing those endless rants regarding what a girl should wear and should not wear. How she should behave, whom she become friends with, when she comes back home, because at the end of the day if something happens it is always  her who is to be blamed no matter what. She is always blamed because she is provoking which society indicated that she is asking for it. But that is not the reality; in fact it is only like a simple girl who wanted to look her best and chose to wear her mom’s saree with an expensive designer blouse she managed to find after visiting three different stores. All she hoped for was a great evening and immense happiness shared with her family.

 

 

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