Women who are mothers to us, worrying how we’re making it. What we have had for lunch and just when are we going to marry. Those who became mothers recently and are basking in it’s glory, even those who don’t think they’re carved for the task. Single mothers being a set of parents to their kid. He is going to ask you someday who his father was. I don’t know what you’re going to say.
He didn’t want you, dear.
She stands outside the obscure clinic, her face covered, awaiting her turn. They’re going to extract a part of her and set her free. Free of this judgemental world.
Women who love their husbands and women who are loved. She wakes up to snuggle up to him and he wraps an arm around her. Life’s good.
Women stuck in a loveless marriage, unable to get out. Where will I take my kids? What will people say? My parents will not take me back.
Women who go to sleep, cuddled next to their pets.
And then those who finish a sandwich on their way to office, tackling casual sexism as they drive. Women who are bosses and those who are subordinates.
Women that bleed every month and yet try to pretend they never have it. They can climb mountains on their periods. Why should people get to know they’re having those days of the month. The shopkeeper discreetly wraps napkins in newspaper and then puts it into a black plastic bag. She feels like an undercover agent delivering a package to Matt Damon.
She watches him do that and wonders if she should be as ashamed of menstruation as he is.
Women who shout slogans and those who rather post a status update. Hashtag outrage.
Women who stand tall in the face of obstacles.
You will not go outside to work.
You will not apply for a job.
You will not drive.
You will not go to school anymore.
You will not talk to boys.
Women who carry on their heads bricks to construction sites and lament the builder’s cut in their pay.
Women, truckloads of them trafficked across states to be used as maids in upscale residential localities.
Listen, you will take care of my kid and manage the chores while I go to work. Memsaab I don’t like your husband touching me.
How dare you say such a thing?
To be sold to pimps. To enter a vicious never ending cycle of exploitation. Women who deal in these women without hesitation.
Women sweeping our corridors so that they can pay for the education of their children. Those of them beaten black and blue by their men.
Women motivating other women and those that pull them down.
We are friends.
Our own enemies.
Women who work and those that don’t. The ones creating magic out of words.
Women who are looking for love and those that have given up on it.
Women who are achieving milestones. Women witnessing these women and wondering what they are doing with their lives.
Then there is a tribe of those that find recluse in gossip because that’s their escape.
Women adhering to stereotypes and those challenging it.
I know We are the same, all of us. Our stories make us different, have us grasping at reality differently.
Some of us affixed like rubber stamps into categories.
I don’t understand how we make that distinction. We are misfits. We love our men. We fall in love with other women. We are survivors.
Impossible that every woman finds a mention here but those that I have seen and those I know of, do.