|In today's Hitavada|
Rekha Nagvanshi’s in-laws are demanding justice now. Doesn’t she have the freedom to pee where she wants? All she wanted was her husband to massage her feet. And when her in-laws played spade, she in her rightful mind chose to urinate in their tea cups. They sure do not understand their bahu is empowered in making independent choices. Someone please show the old couple Deepika Padukone’s ‘My Choice’ video. And the fact that her husband was on the job – at her service - is what you call his choice. Where is the issue, at all? It’s simple domestic set up!
Just like in my neighbhourhood, elderly aunties collectively choose to praise ‘THE’ daughter-in-law of the community at their satangs, only because she quit her job to take care of her bed-ridden MIL. One day I ran into the woman with her two kids and dog in tow, when she requested me if I could collect a few students for her to start tuition classes at home. So what about your mom-in-law? The sullen-faced woman replied: “I was always confident of managing it all, but my husband just wouldn’t listen. Now with mounting bills, he wants me to take up at least a part-time job…”
If you dismiss this as man’s choice versus his wife’s, then wait till you hear the saga of a young girl with a toddler loitering about houses washing dishes.
A year back, her mother had borrowed from all the houses she worked in for her wedding and sold the last piece of silver to meet the dowry needs as the prospective groom was a government employee. She flaunted a modest feast and gifted her daughter a motorbike, a few grams of gold jewellery, suitcase of clothes and utensils, too. Then, her madams gossiped about her so-called extravagance, but she stood her ground saying it was her dream. Some woman power, that was.
Alas! today her daughter is back because her government-employee-husband is at all times on four feet, turning every inch of her skin blue. But the madams are still reprimanding the mother for the lavish wedding every time they see the toddler running about. Wish Deepika could explain it to madamjis.
But Ms Padukone herself is in trouble with her choice and her producer Homi Adajania is doing everything in his might to calm critics. The video is sexist at the least and offensive to the very womenfolk at best. It should be played across all inner pockets of the country, where women have no choice but survive each day.
Women’s empowerment is not about wearing short skirts, returning home late, or having sex before marriage or outside of marriage…for majority in our country it’s still about mundane daily domestic decisions.