I call myself a feminist? You know why? It’s simple: ‘feminist’ is a sweet-sounding word. And I love it. It doesn’t bother me if the word makes many angry in my society where people put strange appendages to this beautiful word. Like militant, radical, phony, pseudo, blah, blah. To hell with adjectives! And don’t tell me ‘feminist’ is an adjective. Feminist is a person, a human being, a noun.
Memories of my childhood are pleasant. Unlike the tough times I had as a teenager. There are soothing associations. Like trees and butterflies and romping in open space and wild bushes.
Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t born in any valley full of pine trees and flowing streams. But very much here. The hot, humid city with no mountains and only the sea which was far away; it wasn’t a forest. But Karachi was no concrete jungle either when I was a kid. Some twenty years ago.
The houses were few and far apart. There were wild creepers, thorny bushes, cacti, jasmine and guava trees. The kids were numerous. It was a joint family.
My cousin sister and I loved to catch butterflies with bare hands, watch with fascination their dazzling patterns and hold them till our fingers were tainted with the colours of their wings. And then we would set them free.
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.