Personal observations on life

Are we leading a double life?

Are you living a double life? - Written Reality

Most of us are ‘normal’ people, with no criminal tendencies and no desire to earn money by dubious means. We are not the kind of people who would lead a double life, unless of course we are spies or undercover agents. Still, even without knowing it, many of us do lead a double life.

What we see

On the one hand, we project the image of a successful, happily married person who loves her partner to bits, and cherish the moments spent with children. This is the image of ourselves that we project to the outside world in real life interaction and on social media. This persona, if a woman, would be modest and demure, walk behind the husband, and smiles a lot, apparently at peace with the whole world. When guests come home, she would greet them with the right degree of cheerfulness, and would ask them what they would like to have. If they decline to have a drink, she would lovingly persuade them, run to the kitchen and reappear with a tray full of drinks and knick-knacks. She always defers to the husband during a conversation, and never initiates conversation. To the whole world, she is the ideal hostess and the perfect wife.

What reality may be

There may be some women who truly fit the description above, but many are putting on an act when they behave in such ways, bowing to the unspoken rules of society about how they should behave. Many times, a woman would like to take decisions, and lead from the front. Many times, she would like to stop smiling stupidly, and say something that is of importance. Many times, she would like just to leave it all behind, take a solo trip around the world, go to a pub and get drunk, and wear revealing, sexy clothes. The woman with the ‘happily married’ image may in reality be suffocating in a loveless marriage, which is agonizingly prolonged just for the sake of the children.

If this is not a double life, what is?

Personal observations on life

Homelessness

I am a professional who earns well. I am well-placed in society. And I call myself homeless.

When I grew up, I referred to the house I grew up as ‘my house’. When I told my friends that I was going home after school, I truly meant that I was going to ‘my home’. Slowly, I came to know that I have no ownership of my house. I happen to be a woman, and in our culture, women do not inherit the house. It is my brother’s house actually. So, now when I visit my house, I am a guest there.

After marriage, I went to my husband’s house. Some people said that I have to treat it as my own house. I say that is bullshit. Can I behave in my husband’s house like I would behave in the house I grew up in? Utter bullshit.

My husband and I began our life. We worked hard, and earned and income. We saved up, and bought a house. Now, can you guess whose house it is? Right, the house is bought in my husband’s name. So, legally, it is my husband’s house. I can live there as my husband’s wife. I, as an individual, do not have any rights to that house.

You see why I call myself homeless?

This system is actually a well thought out scheme, to ensure that a woman will always stay under the wings of the husband. Even if the woman is ill-treated, she will not leave. Where will she go? She does not have a home. If she wants a physically secure existence, she has to dance to the whims and fancies of her man. Because she has no place to go.

Of course it is understood that what belongs to the husband also belongs to the wife. However, it is understood only so far as the husband says so. Is there any law that says a husband cannot send a wife out of his house? I doubt it. Morally it is wrong, but is it wrong legally?

When women do not have ownership of land or house, she does not have psychological security. She does not have even a single physical thing to show as her own. She owns nothing. Even her children are named after the husband.

That brings us to the question: Does a woman exist on her own right, except as wife to someone, and daughter to someone?