• Paakhi M

The Dress.

It's 2021, already?

The recent experience I had in Agra had no intentions to make me realise that.


Last weekend, I went to home city of Taj Mahal. The home to one of the wonders of the world, while its worldly views are still bound to a limit. Looking through some streets, trash still accumulates at the sides, skies still look leaden, a faint smell still hangs in the air. The other parts of the city, however, show me green trees, development, and bright sunlight.

But people in both those parts remain same.

The people who have worldly views bound to a limit.


Taking a step in the bottomless abyss, I decided to wear a dress that hung two inches above my knees. Never had I done that. Emphasis on never. Most my dresses reached mid-calf, and that was as daring I got. But looking at my cuter self in the mirror, I upped my dare factor and took on the challenge to wear what I want.


Wasn’t that one of the worst decisions I have ever taken.




After being ogled at and cat-called in front of my parents, I realized that the people of India…nay, the world, still had an endless way to respecting women. I planned to take revenge. I planned all the ways I would take revenge from my species who made me feel degraded that day. Who made me feel compelled to set my dress on fire. Who made me feel insecure in my own skin. Men, because of whom I need to look behind my back every time I walk on the streets. Women, who looked at me like I was making an outrageous statement. Society, who makes me pull my clothes in different directions to cover more skin than they possibly could. I want to wear clothes that cover every square inch of my body, and that just shows how pitiful society has become.


So, I planned to take revenge. But a little bird called rationality reminds me that I can’t, not in this world, not without facing consequences. Oh, the dress that I loved so much. That made me feel beautiful. That made me feel content. That could have made me feel independent, if not for society. That dress, after a long time, made me remember how unequal I felt when I expressed myself. It snuffed my false assumptions of an equal world. There couldn't be a worse way to bring me back to reality.


Today, when society looks at people with a smirk on the face, the victim finds a fault in themselves. Was it my fault that my dress didn't fit society's premeditated 'guidelines'? We are conditioned into believing what others say, and suddenly, I came to realise that it was fault to wear the dress in the first place, and deep inside, I knew I was phenomenally wrong to realise that.


Nevertheless, because I couldn't take revenge on society, I took revenge on myself. I stuffed the dress into my mother’s closet, never to be revealed again.


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