The afternoon was sultry and dust had settled on my face and clothes. Getting off the bus, I waited in anticipation to reach home. Life away from home is difficult. A sense of homesickness never gives way. There come moments when all you want to do is to go back home. But living away from home is liberating in its own way. It makes you responsible and independent. And one very interesting thing that staying away from home does is that it keeps you away from people who are more interested in when you will get married as soon as you enter your twenties, or what job is the most appropriate for women, than their own lives.
That afternoon I was tired, and all I wanted to do was to reach home, have a cup of tea and take some rest.
But I had thought too well for the afternoon. As soon as I reached home, a neighbor stopped to ask me whether I have a boyfriend I intend to marry or will I leave the task to my parents to look for a bridegroom.
Conversations at home with begin with what Aunty A said and would end with what Uncle Z concluded. Though we share, laugh and forget it all, the idea that people shall never learn to mind their own business, struck me.
Aunty X: I know this really nice boy on a very good post in a government bank. Had he been only a few years younger, I would have got your daughter married to him.
Uncle B: Oh! Your son is preparing to go for a career in textile designing, why not one in engineering.
Aunty F: A career in journalism is too unsafe for a girl. Why not go for teaching, it is the best profession for a girl. Get a decent salary along with enough time to take acre of the home.
And so on, and so forth. Discussing these and other such opinions in good humour makes little or no difference. But once looked deep into one realizes how individual freedom is mocked at. Why is it so difficult for people to let others be happy with choices they make. Why is a judgment always ready to be passed. I am not saying what choice is right or wrong. Just like I have the right to choose what makes me happy, everyone around has the same right too. All I am saying is that it is high time we as a society stop passing judgments and respect individual freedom.
To all those who keep judgments at hand; enough people, get a life.