If you believe in fate, you would ascribe unhappiness that abounds in people’s life to fate and nothing else. ‘They are fated to be unhappy, to be miserable’, you tell yourself. But if you are not such an absolute fatalist, you’d start wondering if it’s human beings themselves who bring unhappiness unto their lives.
When I think about them — Azhar Bhai, approaching 40, married two years back and now father of a son, Saira Aapa, his sister, a divorcee, in her early 40s and their ailing, widowed mother — I ask myself “Why have they always been such unhappy people?
How shall I begin? The same old story — the quaint ritual of match-making that goes on in our society. Well, if you are a woman and single too, the subject is emotionally charged, especially so if you belong to a bourgeoisie set-up where your parents and you have no way out but to allow people — prospective mothers-in-law, to be exact — to come and have a look at you.
Perhaps at this stage of my life I can talk about it with ease. All the emotions and the rage have gone out of it. The mist has dissolved and I can see clearly now. Or so I think.
Previously published on 20th October, 1983
The other day a friend of mine and I were talking about women and sports. She said, “I’m not in favour of women jumping, shaking, running, exhibiting their bodies in front of men.”
I was a bit surprised at her attitude. Yet, I wasn’t worked up. Personally, I am not interested in sports. I have this attitude towards sport: ‘If somebody wants to play, let her/him play. And leave me alone.’