It was an usual day, as I walked down the street at 7 AM in the morning for my morning walk, catching the first glimpse of the Sun and trying to readjust myself to the morning routine. As I walked down to the park, I saw two little girls trying to persuade their mom to play football with them. I could sense the exasperation, when she said “OK Fine, but you girls will not open your mouth in front of your father. If you agree to what I just said, I will play with you.”

I saw the girls’ eyes scintillate with happiness,but also saw the mother’s eyes gleam with tears.I could have moved on from that place, but I couldn’t. I went up to the mother to compliment how lively her daughters are,but she just gave a smile that didn’t reach her eyes and remained silent.

After few seconds I heard her voice “They are little girls after all. its their time to be lively and happy. I get them here to this park, after their father leaves for work. When I see them running around giggling and happy, it gives me a sense of satisfaction that I am getting them their happiness that they deserve.”

I looked at her with nothing to say, yet she continued “I am a mother of four daughters, and these two are my youngest” she adds with a smile. I perceived her to be not more than twenty eight years of age. “Leela” she says with a smile, when I asked her name. “My in-laws changed my name to Pratistha after marriage. its a part of our culture.” “But how did you allow it?” I couldn’t hide the surprise in my voice. “We are women. remember? This is how it is. By the sound of your words, it seems like you’ve been raised by very liberal parents. But me? I had to give up college, my dreams, my home and even my identity!”

What I discerned from her voice is that, she doesn’t share much about her life to anyone. Women. What do we stand for? On one hand I agree, things have definitely changed. But how much? A woman leaves everything behind to follow footsteps of a man, whom she’s known only for like three seconds. She is like a robot, who is suppose to function according to how society asks her to. Even if she takes a step for her own happiness, she hears a voice in her head that says “LOG KYA KAHENGE ?” (What would people say).

Lets take few instances.

  1. If a woman wants out of marriage: LOG KYA KAHENGE.
  2. If a woman wants to study further after marriage: LOG KYA KAHENGE

Even if a woman wants to make her own choices for once, people will be ready to go all “LOG KYA KAHENGE” on her. Its really sad to hear even when women say this: “I have just these three years to make it. I just don’t want to be a burden to my parents anymore.”

I feel happy to be a part of this generation, which has seen highly acclaimed women like Indra Nooyi, Geeta Phogat, Malala Yousafzai, Sania Mirza who give us hope to stand up and fight for our choices, but some where amidst the noises of this society, our voices are being snubbed. We really need to stop being quiet, when people say “you are a girl, you can’t do this!”

As a being a twenty something woman of this generation, I feel the time has come where we need to stop succumbing to the pressures of this society. GO! Sing, Dance, Study, Scream, just let it go! but most importantly lend your shoulder when someone really needs it. Be the most strongest woman, that this world has ever seen. Step in to the light. Someone gave me a piece of advice, which I would like to pass it on to you: Don’t be afraid to be ridiculous :’)

Written by

Manasa Netrakanti

I have experience in photographing beauty, fashion, e-commerce, and product photography for various brands.