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I, You...

I, you, is a story of every woman judged, looked down upon or targeted because she dared to follow her heart…
I, you…
Yes, that is how it is like; living in the country I live in, especially when you want to be ‘yourself’ as a woman, especially when you choose for yourself, when you become the God of your own life and when you try controlling your own body.
Some would say, if one is determined to be oneself, what can stop him/her; one can always choose to be a rebel and exercise one’s own control over life. I used to think the same, until recently when I realized to my utmost shock the level of moral policing goes on in a society for a woman. Each and every action of a woman is judged by a certain lens by family…by society.
What I do is my business
What I wear is my choice
What I eat or drink is what my taste buds like
What I believe is my faith…
But no, what I do is not my business because in doing things I have to respect your so called ‘honour’, even the slightest deviation would dis-honour you, your religion or honour of your country, the choices I make in my life are always seen with respect to religion, culture and your norms..
My love for you would always be conditioned to how much I give in or tamed according to what you believe in…
I don’t follow the rule of coming home in time (the decent time a woman should get home), I don’t love you
I don’t dress according to your sense or norms of dressing, I don’t care for you
I choose not to listen to your demands and lo and behold I am the most disgusting child ever born on the face of this planet
You fail to understand that I love you, but I have a mind of my own which thinks and what I think can be different from what you think… Can’t we agree to disagree??..
Why don’t you acknowledge that…
I have a heart which has its own aspirations; I have my own path to tread
I have, from my own experiences of life, come to know that certain beliefs I have grown up with are not right and that I would like to have my own set of beliefs and my own principles in life, which may differ from the kind of religion you believe in, the kind of rules and norms you follow…
You fail to see that my belief or non-belief in God doesn’t stem from my identity as Muslim but my identity as human…
You do not see that marriage is not the only thing I should be aspiring as a girl but it is love I desire..
You fail to see that my utmost gratitude for the way you have brought me up and my love for you doesn’t die if I choose to differ from you and that this love should not be conditioned with such conformities
Yes, you can choose to dislike me if I choose a path of dis-honestly, if I choose to be inhuman, if I choose not to do what I believe in
I am honest to myself
I am aspiring to be a good human
I don’t lie to myself
All I do is I try to think and know and then act, I don’t look at myself and things around me through the kind of lenses you have, my lens is very simple, it is lens of a human and from that lens I am a human too… with that I mean; ‘a woman’ is a human too…
On one side there is my love for you
On the other side there is a dream waiting to come true
Both are equally precious
Both are indispensable
The dream, the aspiration, burns like a fire inside
Will the fire remain?
Will it burn me?
Or will it extinguish… (Lines inspired by Nilima

South and Central Asia
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