I see around me,
On terraces filled with people,
Songs so loud, you cannot separate one from other,
Eating chikkis and laddus,
Flying colourful kites.
And here I am,
On my terrace,
With my thoughts
and music on my headphones,
But quite proud,
Of my lone kite,
Which managed to go up above the rest,
Against all odds,
Without being cut!
Why am I alone, you ask?
It all started when I was quite young.
Too young to know the term “Sexism” but not so young to not feel its ugly presence.
It is a family’s tradition, that all go to a relative’s place to fly kites. Once upon a time, I used to go too.
The uncles and brothers used to be on the terrace, flying kites, listening to latest Bollywood songs, shouting and merrymaking.
The women and the ‘Good’ sisters, would be in the kitchen preparing lunch and snacks. Once done, they would join everyone on terrace, hold firkis and thread the kites, so that others can fly it.
Not being interested in kitchen activities on a festive day, I would accompany dad and brother up on the terrace since morning.
When I expressed that I wanted to learn how to fly kites and not merely be standing behind holding firkis, I would be given a kite to hold for some time, and then it was back to holding firkis. I was told I was still “Too young” to learn.
I accepted this till I was around 12, until I saw brother being taught to fly a kite, with gusto and animation!
Brother, who at 9 was old enough to fly kites and I, at 12, was expected to hold a firki and stand behind.
That’s when it became all clear. I was a girl. And as a girl, I was to stand at the back, and support the guys.
At that age, I remember telling them “Enough is ENOUGH. I will learn how to fly kites ON MY OWN. I WILL NEVER EVER be standing behind. I will be on front, flying kites and enjoying myself.”
People laughed, called me immature, blowing up “small issues” etc etc.
But, from the age of 13, while my family went to relative’s place, I took my kites, went up on terrace and taught myself to fly a kite.
So each time, I manage to send my kite high up, each time I manage to save my kite from being cut, each time I cut other’s kites, I get a sense of peace.
I feel happy, here on my terrace, flying my lone kite, kicking sexism’s butt in my own small way!
Happy Uttrayan Everyone!