I have 99 problems but my life choices are not one of them.

It has been a really long time since we last talked. I think I was a scared kid back then who did her homework on time and ate all her greens. I was meek and quiet. I followed every order of my parents. When you asked me what my hobbies were, I always responded with reading and studying. I so wanted to be accepted by you. I liked being the good girl with my oiled hair, two plaits and no opinions. I was literally that person- a complete doormat.

Then my dear parents decided to send me to a different city for my masters. It was probably the best decision that they have ever taken for me. In these years that I have been away from your judgement and your prejudice, my spine has straightened and my voice has risen. I can now look people in their eyes and I have developed strong opinions of my own. I even dared to get a few tattoos and piercings. Yeah, your quiet little girl-next-door has grown up to be a rebellious tattooed girl. Who would have thought this would happen! Scandalous, I tell you.

Contrary to what you think, I have zero regrets with my life.

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I’m guessing you are all very curious about what exactly I have been upto for the past few years. Well, I got two tattoos- one on my chest and one around my navel. They look amazing and I have plans to get at least three more. You think they look ugly? I think it’s a pity you are still unable to appreciate art. You are missing out on so much. You think the locations of my tattoos are vulgar? Don’t worry, I don’t show them to people without an eye for art.

Do you know that I have become a feminist? I can feel all my neighbouring aunties roll their eyes. ‘Look at her! She has become one of those feminist types.’ Your reaction is sad, really. Something is wrong when women don’t believe in a movement that fights for equal rights for women. I can assure you that my voice is loud enough for all of us.

Oh, and I have lost my virginity already. I don’t care if all the boys from home refuse to marry me. Right now, remaining unmarried is not my worst case scenario. Contrary to what you think, I have zero regrets with my life.

Hey, at least you now have enough gossip fodder to last for a few months.

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While growing up, your judgements were the guidelines to being the ideal human being. I wholeheartedly believed that I had no right to talk back to my elders even when I was being mistreated or bullied. You led me to live in fear of your judgement and of being an embarrassment to my parents. But now, I am past all that. I realised that I was only limiting myself by listening to your outdated opinions and following your meaningless traditions. I have every intention of breaking stereotypes and breaking the rules.

Over the past few years, I have learnt to be myself- tattoos and all. I have learnt to accept this version of myself and I have struggled so hard while doing this. I am not going to lower my voice or accept everything you tell me blindly. I am going to follow my heart and do what feels right to me. I have a mind of my own and maybe that will make me the bad girl. Maybe you won’t shower me with praise at every turn. But I will be myself and I will be happy. That’s the only thing that matters towards the end.

Hey, at least you now have enough gossip fodder to last for a few months.

Cheers,

The Good Girl Gone Bad.



Author: Maitreyee Mhatre  

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