Even in 2021, we have women who prey for a son with a fear that how will the in-laws react if she has a daughter. And if by chance she does deliver a daughter, will she be welcomed house or not? Will her family be happy about this birth? Such fear still resides in a woman’s mind.
A boy to keep the family name alive. A boy to do the last rites of his parents. A boy to look after them in old age. What makes everyone think that a girl cannot do the same for her family? Only because she will get married and move into a new family she loses right over her own?
There are many reasons cited for the same. Women are weak at heart to handle the grief. They should just mourn at home and let men do all the rituals. Other schools of “orthodox” thoughts states that only when a son does the last rites, will the deceased attain salvation aka “moksh”. A widow cannot perform the “Kanya Dan” of her daughter as she will rub off her bad luck to her daughter, but a dad can do it irrespective of him be a widower or married.
But we are seeing many women who are coming out in open and trying to punch the patriarchy in the face. And not just celebrities, but even a woman like you and me. Without the fear and worry of the backlash that the society is readily waiting with. And the funny part is, people with a phone in hand, knowledge of social media and an ability to read and write are the ones who are posting such nasty comments. So, let’s not point fingers at the elders, oldies or the villagers for a backward mentality. The so-called tech savvy, living in this time and space are equally backward in their thoughts and mentality.
How did Mandira Bedi wrong you?
Mandira Bedi wore a White T-shirt and denim instead of a white saree to mourn her loss. She wore a watch and had a chain around her neck. Her nails were done. And the most talked about, she did the last rites instead of her young son.
As soon as her pictures went on social media and news channels, these gossip mongers started vilifying her actions. Trolls on what she wore to what she did, were all over the social platforms not sparing any opportunity to lash at her.
These people couldn’t see that Mandira Bedi was mindful of the fact that her son is just 10 years old, too young to do the last rites and go through the pain. She chose to take the baton in her hand and do it herself instead.
Her intension behind it was not to challenge the society. She just wanted to safeguard her young son. She didn’t wear a saree because she was in a mess. Her husband passed away in the morning and in all the hustle and bustle and 2 kids in tow, she many not have changed, or maybe she doesn’t have a white saree. She had not foreseen the event to be prepared for it. She acted on her feet and did what was right at that moment without thinking about the comments and words that would follow.
Sadly, even the so called Millennials and Gen Z wanted to vomit the brash things that they had caged in and were waiting for a target. Sadly, this time it was Mandira Bedi at the receiving end. Instead of being thoughtful with their words, these social media trollers chose to pin her down. And no, not just men, we have an equal number of women and so-called modern girls who could not resist the temptation of passing a comment.
Even grief has a gender. You must be “man enough” or “woman like” to grieve the loss of you family member. The society still believes that grief should be dominated by men and women can just sit and cry.
But Mandira Bedi is a woman with strong heart and used her mind where she had to and did what was right by not blindly following the age-old traditions. The loss is equal for all, a man or a woman. She lost her husband and nothing and no one is more rightful than her in putting her husband to his final resting place.
P.s. I lost my father when I was 12 years old and when I was to get married, I had other relatives who were ready to take over the “Kanya Dan” as my mother was “Not allowed” they said. But I was adamant and put my foot down that no one but my mom is the rightful person to give me away after all the sacrifices she has made to raise us single handedly. And so she did. We did beat the patriarchy. We heard some not so welcomed sound around us and saw some raised eyebrow but we had our back towards them and continued with what we believed.
This blog is a part of Blogchatter’s #causeachatter and #halfmarathon.