The dual life of an Indian woman

Tracing the edges of her cuppa, she said: I am tired of living this dual life.

Her favourite cafe was bustling with life and conversations.

The friend promptly replied: Don’t almost all Indian women lead dual lives?

It was a simple statement but it made something stir within her. Why is that so? Why indeed?

She thought of every time she had lied at home about her location and the company she kept. Was she ashamed of her friends or the fact that she liked an occasional drink? No. Could she talk about it at home? No.

As she struggled to fathom the phenomenon that was making her brain matter swirl, visuals of Safeena pleading to her parents conjured up in her mind. That Gully Boy scene was everything she used to dread every time she lied. What if she got into trouble? Would she be able to call home for help without risking the end of her dual life? Was that something she can afford to do? Why did her independence have to come at such a cost? Even a rebel like Safeena was afraid. How could she be not?

She wondered if she wanted to keep the channels of communication open at home. Even Safeena had cried the same in the movie: I don’t want to lie to you, but would you let me live my life if I spoke the truth? All Safeena wanted was their trust and support. But it would never come by.

What were they afraid of, she wondered. Why keep me so safe that it feels like suffocation? Who would that help? Wasn’t it their one true job to prepare her for the life outside the confines of her home? To make her strong enough to fight and live and overcome? To build her life as her own? How would she ever do that if all her life goes by living a dual life? How would she ever love?

The cafe was quaint and in the time between her friend’s pronouncement and stepping out for a call, she thought it all out. Though she couldn’t change her present, she vowed to ensure her future would be hers.

She typed, ‘Don’t ever make me feel the need to lie to you’, and pressed send. A smile spread across her face as a heart bubbled on the screen.

“I hate getting work calls after hours. Ugh! Do you still want that pastry?”

“Oh, one Devil’s Delight, please.”

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