“A caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
of things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for 2 caged bird sings of freedom.”
She was not a caged bird, but a woman, yet hardly different. Her wings were clipped, her soul was caged, by the male chauvinistic society. This is a story of a woman chained by society and its mindset.
Every woman dreams of a supportive partner, a happily married life with an equal status in the family. While it is an obvious state for most of us and anything otherwise is quite unusual, yet for many, marriage is not exactly a “happily ever after” fairytale.
“Now that you are married, your primary responsibility would be to cater to your husband’s needs.”
“You are his legally wedded wife. You will never say No and abide by all that your husband says.”
“Sit at home and take care of your husband’s family, have kids. Career is a waste of time once you are married.”
“You are a woman. Why waste time studying? Rather get trained in the kitchen.”
….words like these are still common in most parts of our country and sadly have been considered normal by many women.
When we talk about the Dark Side of Marriage, it isn’t always the physical abuse. Post marital abuse goes way beyond Dowry, Marital Rape or Domestic Violence. The dark side also includes blocking away the school of free thought, clipping the wings to self dependence and self worth. It includes suffocating one to a point of no return.
The saddest part in the entire scenario is that most women have actually come to terms with it, so here are a few things every women know.
1. It is YOUR body, and nobody, including your husband has a right to force you into something you do not like.
2. You are entitled to a career as much as your better half. Nobody can tell you otherwise.
3. Nobody, read NOBODY has a right to be physically violent to you under any circumstance. There are laws against it and every woman must be aware of them.
4. Know that you are not a child producing machine. It is your body and you need to be physically and mentally ready for carrying a baby. Nobody must force you into it.
As a woman, it is important to know your self worth. You are not an object, you are no less than anyone. Speak up, raise your voice and learn to walk away. Take refuge in books and your passion, educate yourself and others around you. Have faith in yourself and your inner strength.
Remember, a woman is never a reflection of her better half. Infact, she is never just a “half”, but complete by herself.
Sari: Taant Benarasi, borrowed from Mother’s closet
Nose ring: DIYed
Earrings: New Market Streets
Shoes: Emami Shopping Complex
Photography by Darshana Banthia
Make-Up, Styling and Concept: Pooja Dasgupta