Let us take time and remember that one book that’s eating dust, lying in the remotest corner of the most frequently ignored closet of our houses- That one classic that we never could make up our mind to give a read, because it didn’t “seem” that good. It’s been an era since children are being taught at schools to “Never judge a book by it’s cover”. But, do we learn at all? And how can we, when those we look up to- our parents, our elders, the entire society or for that matter, the entire human civilization is bent upon making us believe in the power of appearances. And a book is just a microcosm for the bigger picture. At least, books ain’t got emotions.
The real victim here happen to be people, and by people, I mean girls. There really seems to be no way out for us. Like getting judgements on the basis of looks wasn’t enough that now women are increasingly being judged on their appearances and outlook. Short hair-Tomboy (“Looks like Airtel 4G wali ladki”…Yeah, that happens!) Prefers Jeans- Has no regard for tradition Saree or salwar kameez- Behenji/orthodox Long hair-Homely but not ambitious Tattoo-God forbid! And I am not pointing at a particular section of the society, for this is something universal. Here are a few stats that the Nihar Naturals #IAmCapable survey conducted by Nielsen India reveals:
a. 69% of men agree that their judgement of women is based on their looks.
b. 64% of women agree that the judgments passed on them have affected their ability to reach their true potential.
c. 70%of women agree that majority of judgments on women are from family members or friends rather than strangers.
d. 72% of women agree that working women face more judgments on their looks or their clothes than housewives.
People with a slightly traditional approach towards life and ideologies to those who claim to have adapted to “modernization”- all come under the spectrum of being judgemental about how women present themselves, without paying any heed to their achievements and qualities. This reminds me of an incident I have been a witness to, but not the victim. For the victim happens to be my friend.
Before we get any further, let me describe her for you all: An alien to the so-called society perhaps, she was the only girl in the entire college(probably the entire city) with a Pixie cut. A reckless tattoo on her neck, unmanaged hair and nonchalant gait were the first traits of her to catch anybody’s attention-even mine. While other girls of our college came dressed like going on date with Tom Cruise, she would wear loose trousers and one of those Boyfriend T-shirts everyday. And quite naturally, the entire class had alienated her. She would sit alone during the lectures and if, by chance, she had any company, no words would be exchanged. During the break, she would make her way to the canteen, grab some food and head straight to the reading room. This was probably because she was all too tired of the mysterious glances and sighs.
For some reason, I really liked her. Probably because she had the audacity to display the nonchalance I couldn’t. That “I don’t give a shit” attitude of hers really appealed to me. And so, I started talking to her. In no time, we became very good friends. As I got to know her more, I couldn’t believe how much of knowledge and resourcefulness she had gorged inside her, without giving away a slightest hint. Ranging from Novels to Music to Movies, she had just the right taste. But naturally, my parents, specifically my mother, hated her. Don’t know, if it was the tattoo or the hair-cut that freaked her out, but I was given strict instructions to not be falling into “bad company”. I didn’t comply for I was way too sure she wasn’t afterall “Bad company”.
Comes the day of the unofficial Freshers’ Party. You see, an “Unofficial” party has got perks-like a hell lot of them. It’s not a sickly cultural show in the college auditorium, headed by the teachers and supervisors, but a super cool event with all your batch-mates and seniors, walking grand in their sexiest “avatars”, partying their hearts out like anything. And with much excitement, we also made it to the party. Loaded with Crazy Dancing, food, mock-drinks, the party was a fun-ride. While it was just about to get over, one of the seniors got in some vodka shots. We knew they were drunk, but had no clue why they were offering alcohol to us- the first years. And to my utter surprise, most of the freshers were all too ecstatic and grabbed themselves a glass. I was inclined too and grabbed two glasses- for me and my friend, ofcourse.
“You kidding me? I don’t drink and neither are gonna you”, she retorted.
“Out of all the people, YOU are saying this?”, I was very surprised indeed.
“What is that even supposed to mean? I hadn’t expected you, atleast, to be so judgy. Like what? She’s got a tattoo and so, she must drink and smoke!”
“You are over-reacting. This is just for one time”, I said, convincingly.
“It’s addictive, and not good for health. You can have if you still want. But, Can I have your phone? I need to make a call.”
I was too preoccupied, I didn’t even ask why she wanted my phone to make a call. And I was about to take the first sip, I heard a click. It was her! She had clicked a picture of mine and was one step away from sending it to my …Well, who else? MOM! I kept the glass down, gave her that look-my worst one and whispered to her, “I Hate you”. She whispered back, ” Love you, too”. It was a trance that I was in most probably. Later, I confronted Mumma regarding this and told her about the entire incident, said Sorry and all that. Surprisingly enough, she acted quite cool, and simply remarked, “SHE IS A CLASSIC, WITH AN OUTRAGEOUS COVER, your friend. Ask her to visit me sometime.”
“I’m breaking stereotypes based on appearance by sharing my experience for the #IAmCapable activity at BlogAdda in association with Nihar Naturals.”