If you are an Indian, you must be very familiar with the phrase “Log kya kahenge”. How many times have you wanted to do something in your life that is not normally accepted in India? – Drop out of college? Pursue a career as a photographer or a model? How many times has some or the other neighbour asked you when you are getting married? And deep down you wish that you could push all these judgmental hypocrites away and just follow your heart?
This is a list of things about why you shouldn’t listen to “Log kya kahenge”:
1. Their opinions don’t pay your bills
No matter what you do…or don’t do, everybody will still have an opinion about your life. But when you are in trouble, you can literally count on your fingers how many people will come forward to help you.
I wish opinions could have paid bills- then I wouldn’t have to count the money in my wallet before ordering at my favourite restaurant.
2. Hanging out with the boys does not make the girl a tramp
Girls are “supposed” to marry boys and boys are “supposed” to marry girls. Oh but wait, you can’t hang out together, but oh yes you can get married to a stranger who liked your online profile.
3. Choosing a career in Arts does not make you stupid
“Humara beta engineer ya doctor banega.” Because they don’t realize creativity and creating art is a science in itself. So go make a career in dance, painting, photography or anything else that makes your heart sing from the rooftops!
4. A career in a field other than science is also a career
“There is only one Sachin Tendulkar.” If he had thought the same way, India wouldn’t have this God walking on our soil. Who knows – you could be the next M.F.Husain, Ratan Tata or A.R.Rahman.
5. Marrying people in your caste or religion does not guarantee happiness
How does it matter who you marry as long as they are human? (or in India – trees, I guess?) Marry inside/outside/around your caste and religion and be happy because you will have that one “what-if” crossed off your list.
6. LGBT is not a curse
It’s not a choice, it’s who you are. You have just as much right to live happily even though most people in our country look down upon those who are a part of the LGBT community. You are not a criminal – don’t stay trapped in the closet!
7. School->College->Job-> Marriage isn’t a mandatory rule to be followed
This cycle is carved onto your forehead. Break the chain! Go back to college to get another degree if you wish to! Or change your job or field if you are unhappy with it. You have one life – are you going to spend it the way others want you to, or come back as a ghost so that it will haunt you forever?
8. Getting tattoos or piercings does not make you a bad person
Pee on the road. Throw garbage AROUND the dust bin. Politicians saying “Men make mistakes. Ladkon se galti ho jaati hai.” Such nice people really. But have one tattoo declaring your beliefs on your arm, and the pathway to hell has started burning up below your feet.
9. Wearing short clothes is okay, no matter where you are
Honestly, considering how hot it can get here in India, how do women even wear a sari or salwar kameez without melting their skin? Boys, girls, aunties and uncles- as long as you are not wandering nude on the road, clothes are still clothes!
10. Having kids late in your life is your choice
Its’ okay if you don’t want to have kids at the age of 25. The next time somebody asks a 35 year old woman why she doesn’t have kids yet, they should ceremoniously be invited to change nappies and sing the wailing baby to sleep at the crack of dawn.
11. Staying unmarried or getting divorced shouldn’t be a taboo
So your marriage didn’t work out. Or you are 30 and unmarried. So what? Are those chaar log going to come offer you a bed in their house when your wife makes you sleep on the sofa after a fight?
12. Its your life; Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for living it your way!
Its your life. Run, scream, laugh, cry with joy. Do whatever the hell you want. How does it matter whether you wear tight or baggy clothes, or too much makeup or all you want to do is travel the world alone when the people around you are gasping at the thought of you dropping out of med school?
*trots off into the sunset with the wind blowing through my beautiful hair*