Survivor's Guide

By Annwesha Ghosh

The old radio today gets substituted by a furnished Caravan ; playing an age old tune "𝘵𝘶 𝘫𝘢𝘩𝘢𝘯 𝘫𝘢𝘩𝘢𝘯 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘦𝘨𝘢 " but in a restored audio quality expecting you to look at things with a hopeful glance ; most days I am a museum of things I want to forget yet summoned to the harsh realities of contradictions

Since long gone circas , I see my grandmother subtly order me to stay out of temples for the unspeakable four days of a month ; making me wonder in awe how a woman is prohibited from praying to another

 How my neighbour prohibits her daughter from wearing jeans in the name of tradition and safety ; how my cousin is barred from touring the world, but her mother gives her an assurance of viewing it 'only with her husband' ( quotes were mandatory)

 How I am taught only to love one particular gender ; yet get character assassinated when seen with them

[ 𝙬𝙚 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙣 𝙟𝙪𝙡𝙞𝙚𝙩𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙮𝙢𝙤𝙧𝙚, 𝙧𝙖𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙠𝙖𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙧𝙞𝙣𝙚𝙨 𝙬𝙝𝙤 𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙗𝙚 𝙩𝙖𝙢𝙚𝙙 𝙗𝙮 𝙥𝙚𝙩𝙧𝙪𝙘𝙝𝙞𝙤 ]

 I roll up my car windows to see 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘵𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢 𝘷𝘦𝘪𝘭 𝘰𝘧 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴, telling you to notice a world with endless possibilities yet missing the whole point ( as to who suffered are still suffering) ; may be the age bars of marriage have shifted but yet 'what is an { independent} woman without a family ? '; this is the reality of all the woman of my locality or better on maps ; wherever I go, whoever I become yet no one let's me live, love and say it well in good sentences.

 The depth of this cruelty is such that even sisterhoods now have locked heart and tattered ties ; 𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘧𝘪𝘵 𝘪𝘯 𝘴𝘰𝘤𝘪𝘦𝘵𝘢𝘭 𝘴𝘦𝘵𝘶𝘱𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘰 𝘦𝘹𝘪𝘴𝘵 ; men hold our hands and help us trek hills more nowadays

 / My jhumkas are a memoir of the perpetual and conflicting existence of womxn over centuries and decades ; compromising to survive a (non) - existent advantageous society/ 

 So who am I a floating wreckage or a message of survival? 

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