The women in India these days… uff! Such little sanskaar. Forget about wearing the right clothes, we don’t even wear the right accessories now. Can you imagine that Indian women have seriously started shunning traditions which don’t appeal to them? I mean, seriously. But we have saviours in our midst. Like the Guwahati High Court. Recently, the court granted divorce to a man citing his unsanskaari wife’s refusal to wear sindoor and the customary bangles.
“Her refusal to wear ‘sakha and sindoor’ will project her to be unmarried and/or signify her refusal to accept the marriage with the appellant (husband). Such categorical stand of the respondent (wife) points to the clear intention of the respondent that she is unwilling to continue her conjugal life with the appellant,”
–Guwahati High Court
Yeah, ladies! This is fact, not fiction.
Are you painfully un-sanskaari too? Taking inspiration from this intriguing Case Of No Sindoor, we compiled a list of things you will definitely hear if you are an Indian woman and have no sanskaar:
1. “Shaadi nahi karni? Aise kaise? Bachche kaise honge?”
Ahh… to be a khush khabri sunaane wali bahu… #Lifegoals — NOT! Clearly, there seems to be a glaring information gap regarding the logistics of the reproduction and child rearing process. Because the last I checked, sex was still the go-to for most, with options like adoption, surrogacy, artificial insemination available as well. A marriage certificate, as far as I know, cannot birth or feed children.
2. “Agar naukri mein lagi rahogi toh bachche kaun sambhaalega?”
Not to toot our own horns, but does it really come as a shock that we can do a good job at both? Agar na samajh aaye, just turn to Bollywood. From Neena Gupta and Amrita Singh to Sushmita Sen and Raveena Tandon, we’ve got some brilliant boss women who have aced the single-parenthood game.
3. “Dekho toh kaise zubaan ladaati hai”
The oldest trick in the book to guilt-trip women for standing up for themselves, and/or anything that may be unjust or wrong. Though a few of us may be self-proclaimed potty-mouths, we’re NOT ALWAYS talking crap. A self-check on the suppressive jargon may be a good idea, uncle and aunty.
4. “Shaadi ke baad naam nahi badalna? Samajhti kya hai apne aap ko?”
All hail the patriarchy! How else will our dulhe raja impose his ownership over his “blushing bride” and take away her rightful claim to an individual identity? We’re all for women who choose to change their names after marriage, but this unsaid expectation to do so has to go. We’re surprised SRK didn’t straight up yell, “Tu haan kar ya na kar, tu hai meri Kiran [Mehra]” in Darr.
5. “Cigarette phoonkti hai? Aur daaru bhi? Chhee chhee”
Oh, the double standards that plague our character assessments! While severe addictions to either of these can have disastrous consequences, it’s insane how men are let off a lot easier. For a man, quitting either of these is about health, but not about shame. For an Indian woman, it’s all about the shame of being seen drinking or smoking. To quote Salman Khan *insert apologetic cringe* “Main karun toh saala, character dheela hai”.
6. “Karwa Chauth toh sab rakhte hain. Ismein mana karne ka kya hai?”
What do you mean you don’t want to fast for your husband’s long life? What do you mean you don’t believe in these traditions? This is just…
7. “Yeh kya pehna hai? Aise kaun ghar se baahar nikalta hai?”
Where is your sanskaari outfit which pays no heed to the season or your comfort? If that dress is too short, or that skirt too tight, someone will definitely find you and pass judgement.
8. “Khaana toh harr ladki ko banana aana chahiye”
Yeah, yeah, it’s a survival skill which all adults should know, regardless of gender. If a man doesn’t have this skill, however, it’s “haye mera raja beta, kitna thak jaata hai roz“. If you, a woman, doesn’t have this skill, it’s mostly likely a variation of “kuchh nahi sikhaaya iske parents ne“. This will be followed by a taunt about your lifestyle a.k.a job.
9. “Kuchh toh sharam kar lo“
Where is your lajja? Hidden away with your dupatta?
Jokes apart, it’s unfortunate that even in 2020, life as a modern Indian woman continues to be an obstacle course of dodging ridiculous societal expectations, an unending stream of unsolicited advice, and judgemental aunties. And when a judicial body, like the Guwahati High Court, becomes part of this gang, it leaves one with very little hope of things changing for Indian women.