The good Ol’ days by Ravneet Sangha

It’s the best time of the year , we have our own spring uprising , winter is still lingering and its clutches still hold sway just like Game of thrones. It’s as if we all are Westerosi . But , coming back to Punjab and the small village I live in , I had gone to attend one of the giant steps taken by our village panchayat . They had decided to attend for the first time to celebrate women’s day , progress in the hands of the change in vanguard of politics and everyone started to talk.

Women love to talk , we love to engage and exchange ideas and sometimes just take tips to make lives better for ourselves . Everyone started to reminisce about the times of bygone and one aunty who was an ex army officers wife started speaking about her times . As always she wanted to put across how modern she was and ahead of her times.

It’s always been the case in Punjab , that people who join the army were a tad bit more sophisticated and had more style , etiquette’s and panache than the rest of the plebeian folks. It had to do with the travelling and having an exposure and learning how the rest of the country lived. Auntyji , in her hey days wore sarees and that was unheard of girls from villages who came from patriarchal Jat Sikh , conservative and traditional families who traveled from point A to point b with no exposure . So, she was a newly wed in the early 60’s and wore sarees and was asked lovingly by her officer husband to wear a sleeveless blouse.

The city of posting was Lucknow; the city of Nawabs, romance and shayarani and old world charm and grandeur . So , this small village girl to please her husband wore a saree and a sleeveless blouse to show off her lovely arms and her bangles . She went for a party and was coming back , when the Sahibji was informed the Biji has come from Punjab to live with them. And, lo all Chaos happened and she knew she was going to get a tongue lashing and a dressing down . Her husband told her to cover her arms with the French chiffon saree ,  but that didn’t help!

When she entered n front of her dragon of a mother in law , she was told in the highest form of sarcastic , rustic wit , that the tailor has made invisible sleeves.

Life has changed from girls wearing sarees but keeping them selves covered and still being attractive and sensual . Now the idea is to bare all , twerk , post suggestive pictures and if you’re not showing some skin you’re not modern enough .

Is display of flesh a sign of modernity and a benchmark of being novel , and being in vogue. Modernism means embracing the quality of present or recent times by being forward thinking . To change ones mindset, and not be regressive and be of present times. We as a country have repressed and regressed and freedom of our expression of women is being curtailed . It is frowned upon when women wear revealing clothes or western clothes as they can incite and inspire sexual feelings in men . Why the false promises of empowerment, when we have to fight even for representation in the largest democracy of the world? It’s unfolding in two months and lets see what happens. Women in our country remain seen but are unheard , an uprising is needed but then is rudely called as being feminist bra burners. It’s not that , we just want to be treated as a human . And, then a saree wearing , hijab covered , or a sleeveless shirt with shorts is free to do what she wants and the rest don’t have to stare or gawk at her.For me , I still wait for ache din , or maybe I can see from above up there in the heaven or hell depending where my friends are.