Mrs. Notmy Name

Author’s notes : This is a poem in response to traditional patriarchy. I hope it resonates with the pain of women everywhere, and it helps men empathize to the human experience of being a woman.

Mrs. NotmyName

I am not your mother, wife, sister

or your daughter. Nor am i a slut, whore

or shrew. I am half of you, yet invisible.

A Misses., amidst Masters.

I am torn because i want you, yet

i do not want to be of you. 

You punish me for my sin of passion, 

yet offer me delicious murmurs

when i promise it only you. Your gentle caress

is bestowed upon me only when I lay supine

only your gaze and your desire matters,

but darling, why not mine?

My greatest power lies in tears and sacrifice,

and I must pledge them – as my duty – to you.

Must I only be for birthing and slaving, 

like our mothers before us, in this life ?

Or can I be a leader, a taker, an explorer 

and  still see that gentle love in your eyes?

I am tempted into cowardice

to win your approval, because i want you.

i cover my head in false humility to please you,

But isn’t it silly, my darling, that a scarf is my integrity?

That my skin is so alien when it spills out of

it’s confines, you feel helpless and afraid?

I am a precious diamond, you explain.

to be cherished by men and to be protected from them;

But I yearn to fall from this pedestal

and to stand beside you, with you. I want to be free

from these shackles of purity; To be shades of gray

and still be seen ; To feel the earth against my skin,

and the sun warming my hair.

Can you allow me this? ; to feel like you do?

To be bare chested and unashamed?

Shade your eyes from my imagined radiance,

For I am not a currency.  I am my own,

like you are yours.

I am not your mother, sister or daughter,

but i am someone.

A Miss, amidst Masters.

End. 

How to be the perfect Indian (urban) Husband

Really, it’s not as difficult as it seems if you follow these simple tips:

1 ) Stick to your job. Your whole family depends on you now. Society and your parents made sure your wife is at home or on a teacher’s salary. Hate that soul sucking work place? Too bad. What’s that? You want to follow your passion? LOL.

2) Complain about how tough it is to be a man. Ignore the fact that society pushed you into a position of financial independence and responsibility while it pushed your wife into a position of dependance and subservience. Claim you got it much worse.

3) Make BABIES. Can’t afford it? Get promoted, you loser.

4) Forget anniversaries because you are too busy trying to get promoted. Feel indignant at your wife’s disappointment. Doesn’t she realize how tough it is being a financially responsible, independent person?

5) Buy your wife things that she can’t afford herself because of the shitty part time job that you let her take. Feel manly about it.

6) Invite your boss to your home for dinner. Pretend that it was hardly any effort for your wife as the impressive spread is an every day affair.  Laugh at your boss’s significant disappointed remark towards his own wife, who sadly works full time.   

7) Help with the dishes. Expect a blowjob for your heroic effort. 

8) Partake in mysogynistic wife bashing humor even though your wife barely nags you about anything and conversations about your work dominate most communication between the both of you. Pretend that your wife is like a whiny child even though she is your biggest supporter and you love her dearly. 

9) Go to Thailand with your guy friends. Pretend you want to sleep with prostitutes even if you don’t.  Bully the one guy in the group who is brave enough to voice this by calling him a ‘pussy’ or a ‘chutiya’. 

10) Agree with your mother when she says that your wife shouldn’t go for that abroad trip with her friends for her ‘own protection.’ It’s really not safe for women out there! Promise your wife that you will take her yourself one day. As soon as you get promoted.

11) Feel confused, ashamed and disappointed when you have a daughter. Feel guilty at your       own  emotions. Promise yourself, your wife and your new born child that you will raise her just like a son. Hope desperately that your second child is a son.

12) Complain that alimony is unfair and that your wife has no right to half your hard earned money. Who cares if her sucking up to your boss’s wife,  fancy dinners, cooking, cleaning, taking care of your parents and rearing  your children have given you the time to build your career guilt free? She knows nothing about the corporate world. She’s just a house wife.

13) Write blog posts defending your wife’s choice to be a stay at home mom. Describe how being a mother is the most beautiful thing in the universe and how you’re secretly jealous of her.

14) Lastly, never move out of your parent’s house. 

If you want to know how to be a perfect urban Indian wife, please click here!

How to be the perfect Indian (urban) wife

Really, it’s not as difficult as it seems if you follow these simple tips:

1 ) Change your name. What’s in a name, you ask? Nothing except for your entire identity. The sindhoor is in place, beta. You are now your husband’s property, sorry, responsibility. He is going to provide for you your entire life. Changing your name is the least you can do. 

2 ) Change your place of residence. Move into your in-law’s house. Or move to where your husband is currently located. What’s that, you say? Your husband’s house is your own? LOL. Tell that to your mother in-law’s terrible taste in furniture which she refuses to change because she doesn’t want her son to feel any less at ‘home’ after marriage.

3 ) Change the way you dress. You are married now. You are the symbol of honor of your husband’s family. Why tarnish it by provoking other people to talk about your character by wearing shorts. Chee!

4 ) Be a house hold management expert. Don’t know how to cook paneer makhanwala for 10 people and vacuum at the same time? What did you go to school for?

5) Be an expert actor. Smile good natured-ly when all the women get dinner ready while your husband and his friends watch your favorite football team lose the game. Agree with equally resentful but smiling wives that even if you let the men into the kitchen, nothing would get done anyway! Titter and giggle at the favour you are doing the universe. Die a little on the inside.

6) Be forever grateful for the willingness of your husband to ‘help’ out with household chores. Gush about his expert dish washing skills with your friends. Bask in the jealousy of other wives.

7) Change your career plans for your future baby. Corporate job? Don’t be silly. Be a terrible teacher instead. Better hours, beta. How will you cook and manage a corporate job at the same time? What’s that you said? MBA? From Harvard? LOL.

8) Say yes to whatever your in-laws ‘suggest’. You don’t believe in rituals? So what. Such a small price to pay for their happiness. Their happiness is yours, is it not? In fact, everyone else’s happiness is your happiness! How can you be so greedy to ask for your own! Karva Chaut FTW!

9) Accept the roti belan as a gift from your mother in law and smile like an angelic idiot when asked if you know how to cook chapatis. MBA, you said? LOL.

10) Pretend not to be horrified when your father in law jokes that the roti belan is a good defense against your angry/horny husband.

10) Get pregnant. Multiple times.

11) Have a son. If it’s a daughter, practice your apologetic smile and promise to do better next time.  If it’s a second daughter, practice your verbal groveling.

12) Partake in male bashing humor even though you know your husband is not ‘a sex crazed maniac’ and the opposite of a ‘mama’s boy’.

13) Bite your tongue when your husband’s best friend’s wife mistakenly thinks her husband forcing himself on her is ‘normal and cute.’  Try and explain consent without mentioning the words ‘marital *ape’. Everyone knows that such a thing does not exist in India. 

14) Introduce yourself as ‘so and so’s wife’ rather than your own name at all public functions.

15) Bask in the reflected glow of your husband’s achievements. Act superior to the wife of your husband’s junior colleague. Suck up to the wife of your husband’s boss and secretly hate her. Ignore the fact that you have achieved none of that yourself.

16) Lastly, post pictures on social media of your perfect marriage and no.1 husband. If it’s not online, it didn’t really happen.

To know how to be a perfect Indian urban husband, please click here!