A couple of days ago Dipali-ji tagged me into listing my " sins against gender stereotypes" , I spent the better half of the day vacillating over whether to take up this tag or not . I think Unmana spells out my dilemma best when she writes "saying that you are against a particular stereotype only causes that stereotype to be brought out again and looked at, and I believe all stereotypes should die quick deaths". Surely the recent posts on this issue coming from bloggers with such diverse backgrounds should prove that we have to rethink certain stereotypes. None of us live those living- by the- book lives any more. And it has not just been our generation , 'a change has been coming' for a while. For quite some time we have been surrounded by women who dont bhangra to the same hackneyed tune any more. Three decades ago my mother upon widowhood should have taken to a life of a white dupatta and sewing machine waiting for the day I pranced in twirling two pigtails " Maa kal Vicky key Mummy Daddy ney chai pay bulaya hai,hee hee hee" . But she didnt (and I said adieu to the pigtails when I turned 16).
What I can do (I just cannot say no to Dipali-ji, it is like telling Mother Teresa, isnt what you do bad for the skin) is list the times I didnt confirm to certain expectations of me as when it comes to my life choices I continue to " rock the boat".
1) Growing up I was never a sucker for the meesni Cinderella or dreamed of a Prince Charming taking me away from the hum drum of my plebian life. The only fairy tale I liked was The Snow Queen, girl you go out and get that man.
2) I refused to settle down. I guess for most people reaching that point in your relationship meant making a deposit on the Crystal Ballroom at your local Marriott and going on a diet, for me it was grabbing my running shoes and making a sprint.
Oh the number of times I got cold feet and chickened out on some really decent guys was just not funny. They were actually planning on asking Julia Roberts to dump the twins to play me in Runaway Bride Part 2. Even when I met Gman and knew he was the one I took a long long time before signing that paper. Hell it was so long another month and he could qualify for a pension for amount of years put in in this relationship.
3) Getting married didnt " settle" me either. I continued gallivanting and working in cities that may or may not host my significant other. (I use the word " settle" as thats what a relative told my aunt " she is married now why such an unsettling life, cant you tell her to stay put? Why does she work like this?")
4) When I had Arhaan I defied expectations of me (and this time I disappointed a certain wave of feminists). I did not juggle work and baby and become the fun ferocious fearless female Cosmo taught me to be. Yes initially I did turn up at work. The first six months were to prove (to me and the world) that Nothing Has Changed. I have written before about how my love for coffee and personal space made me run out of the car and not even turn around to look at Arhaan but then one day I just packed up bags , baby and life in a house with a picket fence(and not enough books)to follow my man to a flat in Dhaka where the Gul in Gulshan has long disappeared. I flirt with potential employers, come back home and take a look at Arhaan, and dont sign on the dotted line.
5) I am a new mother, and as a rule should be watching over Arhaan with a hawk eye. My life mission should be to give him stability and a routine or at least keep him away from the crocs. Sigh! I have not been very good. Arhaan has seen 18 cities in 17 months. We could not keep him away from the crocs as well.
Apologies this did not turn out the Ek Gunah Aur Sahi post it should have been. But at least you now have Five Fun Facts about me.