When did I last see the sun? When did I feel the wind whipping my hair? When was the last time I hummed the latest song? Latest now meant few years before...and movies meant blurry images on TV where I had to make out the images of a hero and heroine romancing as shadows...shadow...that described me better. I had forgotten what I was.
"I" ceased to exist somewhere in that flight between Chennai and Saudi Arabia. "I" was someone with a Central Government job. "I" was someone who had friends. "I" had an identity. I was a self-made, working woman- a mother of two. I loved my job. I enjoyed to draw my pay from the ATM. The feel of fresh, crisp notes slithering in my hand which was the fruit of my hard work was a powerful aphrodisiac.
All that "I" was ended the day I landed up in the desert, pulling the kids and pushing the luggage through the haunted airport lounge. "Cover up properly" was the first comment from the husband. Cover up...stay indoors...keep silent...don't walk beside me...your hair is showing...pull your scarf..don't look at the other males...be careful...don't board a taxi alone...don't go out of the house alone...the list of "Don't Do's" went longer than my grocery bills. Too much of being tied down and I forgot what "I" was.
Hours of cooking, cleaning, mopping and sleeping...that was all I did. My whole wide world was a 1500 square feet flat with a sloppy washing machine and a stuffy kitchen. All that changed one fine morning. I had to rediscover me. The miracle did happen. A laptop did all the magic. A blog was born and so was the freelancer. Writing an anonymous blog is a luxury that not many could afford and voicing your opinion in various burning issues on world politics in Arab world is a humongous task.
Being a woman in Saudi Arabia is itself a confinement and breaking the stereotype of an Indian housewife with nothing to do rather than pampering her ever growing muscle mass is an arduous voyage intertwined with grit and determination. Yet...I found a way. The letters to the editor column of Arab News daily paper was sprinkled with fuming anecdotes and anti- Pakistan, pro-Tamil views, courtesy my new found passion for writing. When I started receiving mails as feedback on my letters from unknown persons...I was overcome with glee.
I was here to stay. I had made a mark- as a woman who was bold enough to voice opinions in a totally male dominated, exclusively Arab ruled Kingdom and I loved every bit of it. Cloud nine blog was receiving great reviews and finally..."I" was someone with an identity. "I" was a successful blogger, an equally successful freelancer and a perennial happy go lucky housewife. And with equal aplomb I landed back on Indian soil.
That was when all hell broke loose. The country looked new, everything came with a price tag- friendship, honesty, dignity and affection. This is again a metamorphosis, I am learning the ropes afresh and two years back in my job, I am yet to find some proper footing. Life for the 'missus' is happy as always, provided we don't lose the identity of the 'miss'.
Marriage and moving to a foreign country is just a chapter in the story of life and we need not ghost-write someone's tale. It is after all, our life. We do exist beyond the diaper changes, grocery bills and stinky kitchens. There is a blogger, writer, poet, wife, daughter, mother and sister within me. I can always don the mask that suits me better any time I want. No other name excites me like being called "Akka". Being addressed Mrs. L or the 'missus' of L never made a difference in my life. Despite all the struggles, I wouldn't say my life is all rosy and bright in my profession, "I" still live as "I", not the 'missus' alone! Never lose this "I" for being the missus or the mommy...Its your life after all, babes ;)
p.s.: Sorry about the erratic posting in blog. I am indeed busy traveling and unraveling the mysteries of life ;)
p.p.s.: This video should not be the p.p.s....should have found its place in the post. Ladies out there... enjoy watching ;)
p.p.p.s.: How does one 'sit simply' idling in an office? In a crash course on idling and picking ear in a century old building at the State Capital. Another post on how to 'sit simbbbbly' follows...keep hooked ;)
Thought provoking post. Shocking to know about the situation in Saudi. The identity of a woman very rarely exists even prior or after marriage. Before marriage, parents take decisions on her behalf. After marriage, only the interests of family or husband matters. In a recent interview in TV, a lady was asked about her interests. She said looking after my husband and children. Even after asking the same question in various forms, she repeated the same reply. This shows many women simply dont believe that they can have any interests on their own. Hope posts like this will make people 'think'.. WILL THINGS EVER CHANGE???ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for the comment, Hari sir :) Life would suck, unless women realise their lives are theirs...Delete
Congratulations! Your blog post has been featured in this week's Tangy Tuesday Picks on BlogAdda! Check it out here- http://adda.at/tangy16-12ReplyDelete
Thanks Blogadda! Honored :)Delete
Very Good Read. Added you to my "To Read" list.ReplyDelete
Thanks a ton Namrata and welcome to cloudnine :)Delete
A good go, true that a female has to exhibit many personalities at a time or at different times.ReplyDelete
Welcome to my blog, Rudra! Yes, we are too good at this multitasking part...yes? :)Delete
Very interesting and illuminating post!ReplyDelete
Thanks a lot, TTS!Delete
Oh, I was not aware that we went to Middle East and discovered this side of you. And thanks for sharing the video. Too good.ReplyDelete
Thanks Saru! Yes, it was a kind of exile in Middle East, though I have no complaints :)Delete
OMG this sounds surprsing to me about the situation of women in saudi.. Anyways good one i totally enjoyed reading it. Hippy Newww YearrrrReplyDelete
Thanks Kala! Happy New Year to you too!Delete