Safe, Secure or …………………………………?????
Mrs. and Mr. X are delighted by the birth of their daughter Rakshita. She is the apple of their eyes, their princess and is going to be treated just like one.
Time flies and its Rakshita’s first day at school. Her papa ensures that he drops her and she is picked up by her mother safely. (He doesn’t trust school vans.)When Rakshita was seven she wanted to play cricket with the colony boys. “I’ll get you a Barbie set and Monopoly you can play at home with other girls”. When Rakshita was nine she told she wanted to join Karate like Varun but mummy said “Karate is for boys, you need to learn music papa will put you in keyboard class”.
Years pass by and Rakshita is in high school. She hears of all the fun her friends have in the school van (the chit chat, games, parties, antakshari). So she told her papa, that she is old enough to go by van. But Papa said “Baby you are growing up, the van driver cannot be trusted, the boys maybe unruly so it’s not safe. Papa knows what the best is for you”.
When she wanted to go for a school excursion with her friends, once again it was the same reply “It’s not safe and papa will take you for a nice vacation”. After her tenth boards, she just wanted to hang out with her friends but before she could make any plans, papa safely packed her off to cousin Rakshita’s house to have fun. Rakshita slogged really hard for her twelfth (by now she had got used to her mother accompanying her to her tuition classes though it was only two streets away). One day when she was clearing her chemistry doubts with Varun her mother scolded her “Rakshita you are a grown up girl now, what will the aunties in the colony think when they see you talking to a boy like this?”
After twelfth Rakshita had had enough of science and wanted to pursue journalism. But he advised her “Rakshita Journalism is not a safe line for young women, you should be taking up engineering. TRUST PAPA he knows what’s best for you and in future it will also be easy to find a groom”.
When she was standing in the queue with her mother to get the application form they met another girl. Mrs. X kindly asked “Are you alone beta?” The girl replied “Aunty I came by bus with my friend who stays in the same colony and he is standing there.” Mrs. X and Mrs. Y (another parent) grumbled to themselves “These days girls are very modern.” Mrs. Y introduces her daughter Rakshita 1 and Rakshita and Rakshita 1 became friends (their mothers are happy). Soon they eagerly wait for college but their excitement was short lived. As on the very first day there was a very big list of dos and don’ts. And the biggest don’t was girls and boys were not supposed to talk to each other, within or outside the campus. Even the college bus they traveled was a picture of discipline and silence with girls and boys seated in separated rows and a department head keeping vigil. Their parents had chosen well after all this college was the best and met their standards.
Rakshita and Rakshita 1 met a couple of other Raakshitas’ (their mother saw to it that they met only Raakshitas) and thus their uneventful college years flew by (barring a rare incident or two where the cutest guy in class said a hello to Rakshita and another one praised her for her presentation).
After college Rakshita wanted to work but papa said “Rakshita we are getting old, it is not safe to keep an unmarried girl at home, we have chosen a nice boy for you and after marriage you can do whatever you want”. So Rakshita is now facing her 30 minute interview period with Mr. Charming (while other relatives are munching pakoras and tea in the hall). While he is carrying on about himself Rakshita realizes that he is quite handsome, has a cute smile that the way he was so calm, confident and reassuring he reminded her of one man she knew very well (her father of course).Soon they are married with great pomp and after the initial honey moon days when Rakshita wanted to work her husband said “Rakshita you are new to the city, it is not safe, just take your time to adjust and then we will see. Anyway it is not a necessity, so just relax”.
In the meantime there is hot news about Rakshita 1 during her study holidays one day when she was alone at home the A/C service guy came. Finding her so innocent and vulnerable our hero simply charmed her and cupid stuck her. She had had enough of her boring life and just after a couple of days eloped with him. Unfortunately after the honeymoon this hero turned out to be a big zero when Rakshita 1 came to know that he had lied about everything starting from his qualification, job to his habit, (drinking of course). Rakshita 1 now shunned by her family is now bearing the brunt of her actions with deep guilt.
Rakshita is now mother of two kids (you see she has just adjusted and relaxed well). She even drives a car now to drop her kids to school and other classes all within 4 kms radius from her house. She has a mobile and keeps her hubby informed that she has started or returned safely with the kids. She has found two other Raakshitas (wives of her hubby’s friends in the neighbourhood) with whom it’s safe for her to go to temple and the nearby market. Weekends of course her husband ensures he takes them all for long drives, shopping etc. She even knows how to deal with the pestering sales man, plumber etc on the gate by telling them “Please wait, my husband will come” (you see her husband has told her it’s not safe to talk much to strangers).
With mounting debts Rakshita 1 is forced to work. She just doesn’t seem to fit in her work place. When a guy looks at her she thinks he is ogling and when someone is friendly she thinks he is flirting. Seeing her so timid her boss never fails to give her a rough time” why isn’t she confident and assertive as her other female counter parts?”
Meanwhile another friend Rakshita 2 (their college mate is in America). Her life is nothing different from Rakshita except she is always in jeans even at home to use the vacuum cleaner and dish washer and got to see Disney land with the kids. She has also managed to make with other Raakshitas there(courtesy her husband ).
Well one Rakshita thinks the other is better off. After sometime they don’t even think because they have forgotten how to “THINK”.