… when I stop hearing about cases of female foeticide and dowry harrassment and of people stooping as low as to murder their wives when they ‘dare’ to have a girl child.
…. when my parents feel comfortable to come and stay over at my place for as long as they want to, without feeling daunted by the world’s taunts at ‘having to stay at a daughter’s place’.
…. when I am told no longer that I am lucky to have a husband who ‘allows’ me to visit my parents, or them to visit me, whenever they want.
…. when I stop hearing parents uttering the words ‘What to do? We only have a girl child.’
…. when I see people congratulating the parents of a new-born girl child with as much enthusiasm as they would the parents of a boy child, instead of with a sigh.
…. when mothers stop telling their daughters not to laugh too much or get too excited because ‘they are girls’.
…. when mothers stop telling their daughters to exercise caution in the kind of dresses that they buy, as their husbands’ families might not approve of their ‘jeans and short skirts’.
…. when I no longer see parents putting their sons in English-medium schools, and educating their daughters in the local medium of instruction, irrespective of who is capable of undertaking what kind of schooling.
…. when people stop telling me that it is OK for me to quit my job, since I already have a husband who is earning.
…. when parents stop telling their daughters to ‘adjust a little bit’ with the eccentricities at her in-laws’ house, even when these eccentricities are making their life miserable.
…. when I am no longer groped in a public place.
…. when I can fearlessly get out of my house even at 10 in the night and go anywhere I want to.
…. when a woman taking up a profession of her choice instead of getting ‘trained’ in household duties is no longer frowned upon.
…. when I hear of no more incidents of eve-teasing.
…. when single mothers and divorcees do not have to listen to lewd comments and unsolicited advice.
…. when parents stop telling their daughters that ‘they should try to stay back at their husbands’ house, come what may, because coming back to their parents’home means the end of her life’.
…. when people stop judging a new bride for the time at which she wakes up, the way she walks, the way she talks, the way she cooks and eats.
…. when parents stop feeling miserable after a daughter’s marriage, and consider her wedding as an occasion to celebrate rather than as a burden.
…. when people stop asking my parents who will set fire to their funeral pyre since they have ‘no son, and only a daughter’.
…. when parents stop feeling the ‘need’ to saddle their daughter with gifts for in-laws every time she visits them.
…. when proverbs like ‘Dikri ne gaay, dore tyan jaay’ (A daughter and a cow are similar, in the sense that they both go where they are taken to, without comment) are done away with.
…. when people stop expecting that a woman be a remote-controlled being or a superhuman.
…. when widows stop feeling ‘guilty’ because they are still alive while their husbands are not.
…. when people can treat widows on an equal footing with ‘sumangalis’.
…. when wives do not feel ‘obliged’ to earn for and serve their drunkard husbands.
…. when each girl’s complaints about abuse and lewdness are taken seriously and brought out in the open, instead of keeping it a hush-hush affair and ‘protecting the family’s honour’.
…. when a girl has the freedom to marry anyone she wants to, at any age she wants to.
…. when it is understood that a girl can have other aims in life over and above getting married.
…. when people stop asking questions like ‘So, your daughter is 26. When are you going to get her married?’
…. when a childless woman does not have feel ‘guilty’ at social occasions.
…. when a woman is not made to feel ‘guilty’ for choosing to manage a career along with her household responsibities.
…. when a woman is not made to feel ‘guilty’ for choosing not to have children or having children in a later stage of her life, as long as her partner is supportive of her decision.
…. when my parents do not feel ‘guilty’ about accepting money from me.
…. when people stop calling me selfish for going out when my husband is at home.
…. when people stop staring at me from tip to toe when I choose to eat out alone or sit in a park alone.
…. when people stop assuming ‘there is something wrong with the woman’ when a woman does not have a child after two years of marriage.
…. when a girl does not have to feel ‘obliged’ to have fair skin and does not have to be beauty personified.
…. when employers stop asking women in interviews ‘So, you are a girl. Will you quit your job when you get married, or have a child?’
…. when people stop calling our home as ‘your husband’s house’.
…. when a married woman really and truly can consider her in-laws’ home as her own.
Till then, I will wait and try to stand my ground.