Updated: Jun 19
It was a rainy evening & I went to the refreshment section of my office to have my coffee. Suddenly I heard a beautiful song that touched my heart which made me relaxed after a full tiring day.
To my surprise, she was one of my colleagues whom I never saw talking to anyone in the office & now sitting on a table at the corner of the section mesmerizing alone. I was glad to listen to her magical voice & approached her with a smile.
I then asked her the reason for silence during work hours; it was awkward for me as I could see her confusing & guilty feeling eyes as if she did a sin by singing a song! It took me the courage to hold her shaking hands tightly & taking her into my confidence. She then started smiling & then the conversation began!
Within no more time, I got goosebumps all over my body as she shared the story of her married life with me. An artistic girl with lots of achievements in her career got suppressed by her husband. She had amazing skills for painting, playing instruments, and many more activities, but was never allowed to carry forward even one of them after her marriage.
She was always mocked by her husband and in-laws for her achievements which were the only pillar of strength left in her life. Despite her beautiful voice, she was not allowed to sing bhajans during the puja at their home.
She was always made to realize that her voice could make a child cry & disturb their neighbors. She was always asked to keep quiet, talk less, and not give a smile to anyone!
I didn’t know what to say. She told me in detail about the physical & mental abuses towards her by the family; just because she wanted to speak!
My eyes started shedding tears as she told me that she forgot how her voice sounds.
She did not even get support from her parents as they used to fear this patriarchal society; where we all exist! She was always taught that this is how married life should be where women need to listen to their in-laws & this is the only form of giving respect to their husbands.
The tag “ Log Kya Kahenge” (What Will People Say) is always being added behind each married woman and this is the other form of abuse that’s been associated with both the physical & mental abuses. Women are being trained to think about that tag first; if ever they decide to move forward in their life by breaking all those thorny chains from their legs.
It sounds weird but it is true! I could see a very talented person sitting before me, having a great conversation with a glamour that brightened my soul from within. It takes a lot of courage to speak about your issues before someone. I could feel the intense emotion right there that the lady was experiencing as she got the freedom to speak, to hear her voice, and no doubt she was enjoying it.
In this era where people like to become the voice of the voiceless; it was a pity to think of the woman who couldn’t even utilize her own voice. I started analyzing the moment when she shared her views regarding the office & her works.
I then remembered how she was not able to communicate properly with our colleagues which eventually led to failures in her professional life & the only root cause was the mental abuses that she got throughout her life. She used to take leaves during her night shifts & even sometimes run home before the time of exit. She never attended any gatherings at the office & also was not allowed to her family gatherings.
She was so creative but never shared her vibes because she used to think ‘Log Kya Kahenge’ (What Will People Think). The consequences were very clear as she remained isolated all the time & started loving her loneliness. She couldn’t grow either in her professional life or in a personal one as she was not happy from within.
With a great smile on my face, I asked her to breathe for five minutes & she did the same. I started explaining the power of articulation to her & then told her that the internal state of our happiness makes us work in a different & unique way.
When we learn the art of peace, we can enjoy the beauty of our life. We need to understand that in a society full of ‘Log Kya Kahenge’, we have the sole autonomy to live our lives in the way we choose to!
We are filled with enormous powers that cannot be beaten upon by the other; it is just a matter of our mindset. When we are unable to think beyond the boundaries being taught to us for a long time, that is the exact situation in our life when we need to know ourselves and break those boundaries for our growth.
We need to explore our feelings with the goal of achieving self-connection. Thinking about ‘Log Kya Kahenge’ either all the time or at times of making proper decisions will only lead one to feel distressed, face failure & get surrounded by all kinds of negative emotions.
When we start developing positivity within & all around us, the same time we contribute as well as gain those positive vibes from society. When we move ahead in our life, it is the society who never stops praising us & at the same time when we fail, it never stops blaming us.
Hence, it solely depends on us- the way we want to create our society. Rather than thinking about ‘Log Kya Kahenge’, one must think about one’s self- contentment.
Remember always; “Society doesn’t create us but we create society!”
Written by - Sunita Sahu
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