I wore a sleeveless top today. It transported me to the day (of many) when I had an argument with my mom. In fact, whenever I wear sleeveless tshirts, I remember the times I had an argument with my mom. You see, I was not allowed to wear a sleeveless.
In today times, when city girls wear spaghetti tops without a moment’s thought, a sleeveless for me almost 20 years ago was a big big thing. All my friends wore sleeveless, but I could not. So I would argue regularly with my mom to let me wear one. I fought my case with so much convinction (or with so much persuasion) that she finally caved in. But, not without putting forth some conditions of hers like not to wear it before my dad and no thin straps. It was all acceptable! So, at the age of 19, in my second year of college, I wore a sleeveless shirt for the first time in my life. It was such a hurrah moment for me, a victory of sorts!
Today, however, I do not feel so! Because, today, I am a mom! You know your mom when you become one! And, being a mom I have understood that allowing your child to wear a sleeveless dress is not merely about clothing, but a small part of a mother’s deep philosophy. Will she start experimenting with her freedom? Am I letting her have too much of it? What next? What she will ask for next? Am I being a good mommy? Are the clothes too revealing? Will someone look at her with lustful eyes? Will someone take advantage of her?
And, when my daughter wears a frock or a skirt, I am forever concerned. Is she wearing a bloomer or not under her skirt? Which places she will be visiting wearing a skirt? What sort of people would be around her?
So, you see, whether a 6 year or a 19 year old daughter , a mom is a mom…her concern never changes – even after 20 years! And, that is why my victory in letting me wear a sleeveless doesn’t seem so big today!
And I will let you know some thing – my father till date doesn’t like me (yes, even when I am married and have a kid), wearing a sleeveless, so I usually avoid wearing it around him.
Now, while I am it, I would like to share one more memory …
In my school, there was this cleaning lady, called ‘Balooben’ (it’s customary in Gujarat to use ‘ben’ as a suffix after an older lady’s name). She used to sit near the washroom. Now, can you imagine the washrooms of 90s, stinking like “you know what!”. Anyway, so this poor lady would always be found sitting near the washroom. And, I would always pity her plight – “Why this poor lady has to sit near this hellhole!” I would wonder!
In the wake of the recent incident where a 7-year old boy was murdered and his body was thrown in the toilet cubicle, I now get the wisdom behind stationing Balooben near the toilets.
We can argue to death that we are in the 21st century, we have the right to dress however we like….! But what we are forgetting is that the society doesn’t change just because we order it to. It might change tomorrow, day after or never…but till then we need to take care of ourselves and our kids !
A food for thought…!!!