Age 18

We all eagerly wait for our birthday each year and celebrate it enthusiastically without realizing the importance of the day. Just like other kids, I was careless too but I never celebrate my birthday. I spend whole day buried in my bed introspecting about things and weeping about the memories which are a blur in my mind. Since childhood, I have been like that. I consider my birthday as a horrible day of the year.

But soon destiny taught me the importance of that particular date. It was about one week before my 18th birthday, I heard my dad talking on a call discussing a guy for me.

My Orthodox Indian family still treat women as an object or something to get rid of. As my Grandma says, “Paraya Dhan” I don’t know why they used “Dhan” when they treat them like garbage. For them, women are born to work at home and take care of family and husband. Though my Mother wasn’t the follower of the same ideology as she knew how it feels and never wanted me to go through the same after her death everything was under his control and now he used to make the decision about everything.

He decided to get me married within a year or two so that he could enjoy his life with his new wife. But being a momma’s girl I didn’t let the things turn out the way he wanted to. The clothes I used to wear when she was alive were thrown away as they didn’t fall under Indian culture. I wasn’t allowed to go out much and if a boy from my class approached me for pending work I was taunted for the whole day. I knew things would’ve been different if she was alive. My father as social chameleon turned my world upside down.

I waited until 18 so that I could get a job. Soon I turned 18 and learned about my rights and fought against the injustice. After many ups and downs, several arguments, hundred days of mental and physical assaults. Finally, I got separated from all those old beliefs and a family following them. My 18th birthday, my legal age played a crucial role to help me stand against all the odds. Earlier I moaned now I roared.

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