Let Her Laugh

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 Let Her Laugh

Let her live, let her laugh

Some time back, a post on Facebook triggered a storm in my mind. A young girl posted,

“Just because a girl’s most of the friends are boys, does not mean she is “having a good time” with all of them and neither having a boyfriend make her characterless. Being ambitious doesn’t mean she isn’t a family person. Just because a girl is outspoken doesn’t mean she is a rebel. If she comes home late from work, it does not mean she is sleeping around with her colleagues. Just because she is out shopping alone does not mean she is depressed or lonely. It’s how she relaxes, respect that. Just because she is on a holiday alone does not mean she doesn’t have company. Maybe it’s a break to get back her lost confidence, or maybe that’s how she is. Admire her spirit instead of giving her advice, okay? “

Such strong words made me smile. Thirty years back, after facing  our society’s shallow thoughts, similar was my rant .  As an independent woman, it was so sad then. Today after years of revolutionary steps for women empowerment, self dependence and fight against gender discrimination, we Indians are still stuck. 

The eighties…

My mother was always scared of my well being because I was too independent and ahead of my times. The thought amused me as I had always been very open with my family regarding my friends.

I always liked to spend time with people who had something new to talk about. Unfortunately, most of the girls I had interacted with had their minds focused on either dressing up or perfecting skills to be a perfect wife and daughter in law. Not that there was anything wrong in it but somehow that was just not my kind.

As a daughter, I always thought that it was my parents’ right to know all about what was happening in my life. So I always introduced my male friends to my parents. looking back, I realize that it was my way to empower my parents with trust  in me.  Whenever asked, why I brought those boys home, my reply was, “so that if required you should know the difference between truth and gossip.”

The learning for life…

The experience of being an independent working woman at the age of 21, was learning for life. Working with All India Radio, I was a very friendly person, who laughed and joked with every one. We had a lady officer, who once advised me to restrain from laughing and talking openly with men as those were not the right traits for good girls. Today I smile thinking about it but back then I was so angry with that lady that I started ignoring her.

Thirty years have gone by, but hardly anything has changed. They tried to make me feel guilty for my lifestyle. Talking to men, having a male colleague as my best friend; spending time with like minded people and every other thing that made me feel happy came under scrutiny. Isn’t it tragic that after thirty long years, even today girls have to justify their moments of joy and small acts bringing smiles in their lives. 

Change your attitude…

Today, as a mother undoubtedly, I am concerned about my daughter’s safety and well being every time she goes out with her male friends. Despite the fact that she chooses her friends with care. She is a girl who is aware of her surroundings and as her mother, I am always in the loop with all that is happening in her life.

I respect her need to go and watch a movie alone because sometimes her mind needs some diversion. I admire the independent spirit of my daughter as a young girl but would never restrain from warning her because I have seen the ‘big and bad’ world more than her. As a mother, I need to understand, her understanding of life so that she can lead her life peacefully and take the right decisions with my full support at all times.

‘Connect’ is the key word….

All mommies out there in the world, please stay connected with your daughters. Speak to them openly about your experiences about life (good as well bad). They will ignore you. They will ask you to stop advising. You need not stop because some day your experiences will act as guidelines for leading a safe and independent life.

Remember, whatever the world thinks about you and your daughter is not important. Most essential is what you both think of each other.

Let her live, let her laugh.

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