Why can’t you be like our grandmothers, he said
They were content as long as the household was fed
They existed inside those walls, devoid of ambition
Immersed in household work, keeping alive cultural traditions
Despite lack of independence, financial or otherwise
They ran households, maintained close familial ties..
Out of all the myths that we as a society propagate
The starkest one is that of women in a blissful state
Your grandmother who as content you perceived
Knew that airing of grievances would be poorly received
Do you know how many heartaches untold
Were hidden in her wrinkles, her saree folds?
Her dreams she must have from childhood suppressed
When repeated childbirths and miscarriages left her distressed
She must have shed silent tears, alone or in commiseration
With other women who had faced similar situations
For the family’s misfortunes she must have taken blame
She must have run a tight ship though she had nothing to her name
She probably lived her life in practiced stoicism indeed
Looking for happiness in fulfillment of her family’s needs…
Women were taught to keep their stories private
To not bother men with their issues, they had a lot on their plates
The idealized image of a smiling grandmother does hide
Deep pockets of grief and countless scars inside..