The Stages of My Life | Definitions

Exploring Patriarchy Chapter 20 –

It used to be Baby ‘cos they saw I was young
the one they looked after when her parents weren’t around.
Then, it was Didi – the elder sister
a young adult woman without a ‘Mister’.

MM’s Story:

The role of the Indian woman is defined very differently from that of the Indian man. Her career, education or income level matter very little. What seems to be important to society is her personal choices. Or those that are made for her by her family. And by the God’s.

Respect Dis-Respects | We Have to Pay the Piper

Exploring Patriarchy Chapter 13 – People often think that giving to these rules is respect for the elderly. Forgetting there’s a price for it. A quicker decline for the elderly. And a frustration that affects personal relationships between the home manager and her family – especially her husband.

Poem: We Have To Pay The Piper

We have to pay the piper for all that we have got
if we don’t pay up when it’s due it’s gonna cost a lot.
He’s the one who sees the things we hide – the one who keeps the score
and when he thinks our payment’s due he’ll knock our every door.

Expectations of Love | Wanna

Exploring Patriarchy Chapter 12 – MM realized then, that her husband had a very sub-conscious idea of love that was based on his upbringing. Where his mother had served and fetched as an expression of motherly love. These ideas went deep and created expectations that were in direct conflict with his desire to see his wife rest when she needed.

Poem: Wanna

I don’t wanna be the woman behind the man
let my dreams flow down the sink as I wash the pots and pans.
I don’t wanna be the woman who’s burning up inside
and sees dirt in the smile of her sisters eyes.

The Mother Wound | This Gift

Exploring Patriarchy Chapter 5 – And because of the glorification of the mother that was so much a part of her family culture, she would feel deep guilt and self-recrimination. She would forget that being a mother doesn’t raise one to God-like perfection and take away one’s humanity – one’s fallibility.

Beacons of Light | A Tale of Two Families

Exploring Patriarchy Chapter 1 – Amid all those women who were digging their own ditches, she now saw the beacons of light. Family, friends and neighbours who had found small ways to happiness and made space for themselves in a comfortable manner, within the boundaries of the society they lived in. And they became her role models.

Poem: A Tale of Two Families

Nothing to do, nothing to do,
my poor dear wife has nothing to do.
I come home from work and the house is so clean
and she’s sitting and reading a magazine.
The food is all cooked and our ironing is done,
she looks like her day’s been a lot of fun.

Ownership | The Sins of Their Father’s Mother

Fire Fighting Mode Chapter 4 – Do women deserve a weekly off or do they need to pay for the sins of their husbands mother on that seventh day? The mother who never got any rest and thought that it was right to be an obedient daughter-in-law and a quiet unopinionated wife.

Gender Roles | The Bottom of the Barrel

Fire Fighting Mode Chapter 2 – She’s like the bottom of the pot where the spoon scrapes when there’s not enough inside to put on our plates. Like the bottom of the barrel that bears the pressure when it’s filled to the brim. With no ease or leisure.