I’m a rebel. Not by nature, but by reason. As a young girl, I conformed to situations and society around me. I lived in a community that was close-knit and made up of conformers. People who stepped outside the circle were ousted and frowned upon. You just simply didn’t want to be an outcast. It was uncomfortable– and this I tell you from firsthand experience. However, as I grew up, I began to see that this was not a way of life for me. I saw myself conforming. In the bargain however, I saw myself compromising with my ideals. After a while, it just didn’t work for me. I couldn’t stand another day of being compliant. So I decided that I had had enough. Enough of fitting in; enough of being a clone, a slave to society. And I did just that. It took time and guts to sit and defy the status quo at different points for different reasons. But now more than ever, I have no qualms in dancing to my own beat (Bollywood please).
Today however, during a conversation over lunch, I realized I wasn’t alone. Every month my house is hit with a new book that causes deep discussions. This month it happens to be Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. The book follows the life of Draupadi and her life as a wife of the Pandavs. Anyhow, how does this relate to being a rebel? Well, Draupadi, it happens is one of the most eminent female characters of the Mahabharata. But her life was one that is different in every sense of the way. In many ways, she too had to rebel and revolt against social norms. This too in a time where women were made to be model citizens who stood by their husbands and sacrificed for a number of insane reasons. She however, was married off by mistake to five brothers, was nearly disrobed while her husband’s stood and watched. Draupadi wasn’t afraid to call all the men out on their injustice towards her. To rebel in those days was hardly appropriate. But she did it. The result? The great Kurushetra war. Now if she wasn't scared, why on earth should I be?
But my reason for rebelling is not intentional. I don't want to start no war, trust me. But at the same time, I don’t deliberately go out of my way to piss people off just because it could potentially scandalize them. Okay fine, sometimes I do. But really, most of the time, it’s just a clash of ideals and opinions. I have a different mindset; one that is non-judgmental, too modern, ahead of time even which most of the time people don’t understand. And that is ultimately why it seems like I’m rebelling. But being a rebel doesn’t mean I’m wrong. It just means I’m zara sa, hatke, different. And that works for me cause I for one would hate to be just another ladki. It does have its downfalls. For starters, you get called names which are simply put, not nice. And then of course, people aren't really cool with being associated with an "outcast". But in my mind, if you can't handle the heat, then step right back.
In many ways, I'm a rebel with a cause. My cause: to prove that it's okay to be different in every way, shape and form. The idea of conforming and agreeing with social norms doesn’t cut it for me. I simply cannot be yet another person who somehow manages to agree with what the rest of the world consents with. I’d rather live a life of solitude in the Himalayas then. So if the rest of the world wears blue, catch me in red. I need good reason to follow the crowd. Otherwise, spare me. I walk the other way.