You told me that my mother isn’t a good mother.
Because she left me alone at home and focused on her job.
You made me doubt my mother when she made me independent enough to live alone and fend for myself.
I want to share this letter with all those people who told my mother that if she’s working, she should save for the family, my marriage or education, rather than spending on herself. She had a modest upbringing, and even now when she earns, she earns for the family and not herself.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not against family but against those people who stare at my mother when she carries an iPhone while my father carries a humble mobile phone, because he’s just not into gadgets.
This letter is to tell you about my nani, bua, chachi (relatives) who told my mother that I am thin because she doesn’t feed me properly and doesn’t ask, like those FB posts and films “Beta khana khaya kya?” (Did you eat food?) three times a day. I would like to tell those nani’s, bua’s, and chachi’s that, my mother raised me to be a sensible adult who can take care of herself.
My mother raised me to be the woman who walks with her head held high, while the world watches because her skirt is above her knees. My mother raised me to be a woman who isn’t ashamed of her scars showing in that skirt which she got while playing as a kid. My mother raised me to be the woman that doesn’t need to be picked up, when she fall, not even by her mother.
Dear Patriarchy, you didn’t fail my mother as a mother, you failed me as a daughter.
Because as a women who is career oriented, free from the shackles of orthopraxy, goes to college, reads about feminism, I couldn’t understand my mother’s aspirations.
Because mothers don’t wear skirts and go to office, they cook food.
Because mothers don’t tell you how to maintain a relation, they tell you how to maintain a marriage.
Because mothers don’t talk to you about boyfriends, they tell you how to be a good wife.
Patriarchy, you ruled me even when I bashed you daily. You made me hate my mother for coming late from office when I didn’t ever question my father for the same.
Patriarchy, you screwed me over when I questioned my mother, being a feminist, without realising that she’s a bigger feminist than me.
Because, she didn’t become the mother the society wanted her to be and she didn’t raise a daughter the society wanted her to raise.
Yours, not so lovingly,
a daughter, ruined by patriarchy.