Thursday, November 02, 2006

Ammani's I Ask, You Write 3 - My story

Read the other entries to "I Ask, You Write 3" here

She knew he wouldn't approve. So why did Visalakshi go ahead and do it anyway?

Visalakshi had dreamt of doing it for literally years. As she walked quickly down the road, she knew nobody was likely to give her a second glance. She was only 30-something years old but even her contemporaries called her “mami” rather than by her name. She looked traditional and orthodox because of her oiled, braided and bunned hair, the big kumkum pottu, the diamond studs at ears and nostril, and the fact that she only wore sarees.

Her upbringing had also contributed to her image – her strict orthodox parents who married her off at 18 to a man who was a good 15 years older, then having to live thereafter in a joint family with equally orthodox in-laws. Added to that her own shy, quiet nature… all these had contributed to her maamification (as she resentfully thought of it) much before her time. She was sidelined because of her looks. Nobody stopped to consider that she might have an open mind on controversial matters like premarital sex or divorce or inter-caste relationships.

Her husband did not care for “modern women” – but what annoyed Visalakshi was that his disapproval extended not only to looks and clothes, but also to opinions. And now it seemed like her 15-year-old daughter would be forced to go the same way as her. Well, Visalakshi would NOT allow that. She wanted a lot more for her brilliant, sensitive daughter. But to be heard, to be noticed by husband and family and outsiders, she knew had to do something radical. Something that would make people realise she was not the typical orthodox mami with typically old-fashioned views.

She was going to the hairdresser’s for the very first time in her life, determined to drop her old persona along with her long hair. Visalakshi knew her husband wouldn’t approve (to say the least!). But she would go ahead and do it anyway. For her daughter’s sake.

November 01, 2006 12:40 PM


Kamini said...

Wow, lovely, Shyam! I had no idea you had these treasure hidden deep inside your blog! Now I have to dig around and unearth more treasures.

Anonymous said...

lovely post.. sad and true story for so many women in India :(

30in2005 said...

Left me wondering if she would change her mind when she got to the hairdressers. Lovely little story!