Villages in India definitely don’t take western outfits. It’s not a shorts or tank top that I am talking about. Wearing a tshirt and a Jean is heights of western outfit by a woman and it is to attract men according to the norms. Mallika is a housewife and she is a very obedient daughter in law , she also raised her daughter Ponni with culture, tradition and most importantly education. Ponni was more a Tom boyish girl ( doesn’t matter on the place of birth, some of us have inborn style ) . She loved wearing her cousin brother’s jeans and T-shirts than her half saree . But each time she walks, just opposite to their house had the wall , nope it’s “THE wall” where set of roadside Romeo’s have their routine to gang up and have fun, chat and rag every woman passing by.
So, Ponni’s grandparents were very strict on the way she has to dress up, behave and not run or play outside house. I forgot mentioning about her age. She is a eleven year old active cheerful girl , that also reminds the villagers that she might be ready for puberty anytime and she cannot invite trouble by exposing her body in front of those busy jobless jacks of the village. Mallika always pacifies Ponni when she is full of tears and rage. She allows and enjoys her daughter to dress up within their room. They infact have their little fashion laughter while the family is out to the farm. But Mallika is completely composed and obedient in the family.
That day was Ponni’s birthday. She craved for the used jeans and T-shirt if her brother more than her new chudidhar with dupatta. She wore it and wanted to run to her friend’s house. But her aunt stopped her, ” do you have any common sense? Is this house you want to step out of the house”, she was about to slap Ponni. Fearless Ponni said, ” Am not naked, I have a collared tshirt and jeans that’s longer than my foot”.
“Haan but do you know the looks of the dirty boys outside ? You never walk, you run as if there is a hurry, can’t you behave like a girl atleast at this age?” , added her grandfather. Mallika was listening to this as she was at the front door cleaning. Ponni came out to cry to her mother and she returned the 100 rupees given by her mother as birthday gift and said, ” if you want to give me a gift, allow me some freedom to be myself ” and ran. As she crossed “THE wall”, Ponni, Mallika, and entire family could hear the whistles with vulgar comments on Ponni’s body. “This is why we protect her and advice her to behave decently”, screamed the grandmother from living room. Mallika was furious. She walked behind Ponni with steady yet fierceful look. She moved towards the men at the wall. ” Hoi, what did you just say? Get down first, how dare you to pass comments about a girl? Don’t you have decency ? Was there no upbringing ethics in your family? Come on, walk in front of me, let me shout and whistle and talk about your skinny thighs. Next time I see any of you misbehaving, the chilly I dry for pickles will be on your eyes ” .
Ponni saw all this from a little farther distance. Mallika turned towards her daughter and smiled. There was thousand twinkles on Ponni’s eyes. She jumped and ran to her friend’s house. Mallika entered the house back with her cleaning work and composed nature. No one dared to ask her anything as they all realized their lessons with Mallika #breakingthesilence at right way.
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