#Personal Stories

Humne toh kar dia par tumhare pas abhi bhi mauka hai: Be Financially Independent

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Financial Independence Women: Whenever a woman thinks about the consequences of opting for a divorce, the first thing she is bothered about is financial support. The thought of “Loss of Love” is secondary. She rigorously starts searching for means of income, not another husband or a lover.

It was before Priyanka Chopra mentioned the importance of financial independence for women, my aunt who is dealing with a bad marriage had told me to NEVER EVER STOP MAKING YOUR LIVING, no matter whom you get married to.

My Sisterhood

My aunts when they learnt that I had left my job and was having a bit of hard luck finding another, said  “maybe a little money won’t help you build a kingdom, but it will help you build your voice.” And compelled me to accept the first job offer that came and not to sit idle waiting for the ideal one to come to me.

My domestic help is a lady with self-esteem, a headstrong attitude, dignity and gratitude. I admire her fierceness. She chose to leave her husband because of domestic violence and his alcoholism. The other day, we were chit-chatting when she said “I am aware of my community and I cannot even dream of a decent loving husband in my caste. So, I have chosen to stay single. I will earn my living, so I don’t become a burden on my parents and my brothers.”

She is aware of how orthodox her co-caste people are and still, she chose her pride and freedom over and above.

A 28-year-old lady, my parlour didi as I always call her, comes from a very rich family with roots in a small village in Bihar. Knowing the reality of her caste and society, she chose to offer parlour services at home and doesn’t want to go back to her hometown. So far, she has rejected ample marriage proposals from rich families just because she does not want to get trapped in the cage of orthodox norms and household chores once again.

Why Financial independence is necessary

These are only a few instances that I have witnessed in my surrounding, who do not even know what feminism is!

Being surrounded by such courageous and strong-willed ladies, who are ready to struggle and give up all the luxuries that they could freely get in the trade of their freedom, makes me happy and grateful. Not sure if money can buy you happiness but money can undoubtedly buy you your freedom. Not sure if money can buy you power, but money can undeniably buy you a chance to be heard.

I cannot empathise with these ladies about why it is so important to be financially independent even if you are happily married and willingly want to give up working. But if every married woman I came across has equally emphasised the importance of financial independence, then I believe them.

When I was 24, unemployed for a year, I remember a dear one telling me, “If you do not want to get married right now, take any job that comes across you first, otherwise; no excuse would be left for denying marriage prospects.” This made me happy and sad at the same time. Happy, because they understood I do not want to get married now and sad because people will not understand why I do not want to get married now. Since I have no “legitimate” reason to deny matrimony. The  reason in my conscience and an important one is – I DO NOT WANT TO.

This made me realise that there are two categories of elder women around us, those who have gone through and lived by these patriarchal norms and push us in the same hell saying “Humne bhi kiya tha toh tumhe bhi karna hi padega.” and the other ones who say: “Humne toh kar dia par tumhare pas abhi bhi mauka hai.

Be the latter one and be their voice too.

WE need US!

The views expressed are the author’s own.

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Humne toh kar dia par tumhare pas abhi bhi mauka hai: Be Financially Independent
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