All around me, so many people seem to be jailed outside conventional prisons. Indeed, in some ways, I am too.

I see colleagues open their tiffin boxes at lunchtime and whine about the chickpea-salad and spinach rolls they “HAVE” to eat. It is essential, they claim, to eat skinny food to lose weight, even though it makes them feel suffocated.

I watch as people suck up to their bosses, laughing at unfunny jokes, and staying back in the office after everyone has left to build a painstaking semblance of perseverance and dedication. It is a jail that they claim leads to better appraisals; well-versed with the work culture in many Indian organisations, I cannot even argue against this.

I see people who ridicule others only because everyone around them seems to be doing just that. The usual victims are people who have varying opinions on politics, work-life balance, buying an apartment (or not), movies, life. It doesn’t pay to have original thought when people around you are jailed to conformity.

I often find myself complaining to R that we don’t get enough time to spend together. Wait until the baby arrives, my extended family tells me. Just look at those people who commute for hours every day and slice vegetables in public transport. Think about the harrowed new mothers who haven’t left their homes in weeks; many haven’t even hit the shower. We all live in jails, the wise ones admonish me. That is how life is supposed to be. Life isn’t easy.

On most days, I don’t take kindly to preaching. In particular, I detest those know-it-alls who tell me life is a struggle, not a gift. Sorry, but I disagree with a vengeance. Being compelled to live on this planet, breathing in oxygen, making peace with the family you were born in—these might be aspects no one can change. But even if I accept that this life I have been given has preset terms and boundaries, I have the liberty to tweak the details.

Calvin & Hobbes

You cannot force me to bow down in front of people I disrespect. If I want to spend more time with my partner, even if it means forgoing some other social commitments, I will do it. I will not violate my work ethics to adhere to a skewed workplace dynamic. If you constantly educate people on dieting and “being committed to self-control” and gorge on chole-bhature with extra butter every evening, don’t expect me to pay attention.

Life may be difficult, but remaining tied to the bed-post of conformity and nonsensical niceties doesn’t make it any easier. If it is a jail, we might as well make it comfortable, pretty and entertaining. And pink.

*             *             *

I am taking up the April #AtoZChallenge 2019 and will post every day of the month, except Sundays. I look forward to your company!

Click to read my other posts for the A to Z Challenge 2019.

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24 thoughts on “Jailed

  1. You hut the bulls eye. Society and its norms often compel one to fall in line. I also find myself to fit in as I think my opinions do not always match with the trend that is followed without any logic. Very well written!

    • Thank you for bringing this up, Chinmayee. Trends vex me too as so many are often devoid of any logic. And then you get held up for rebelling. 😀 So happy you liked the post.

  2. This post deserves a standing ovation in itself. Your best yet, in the A-Z series so far. And I agree to everything you’ve said. What an interesting take on jails! And it’s so true. We live within the jails of our (lack of) imagination. We stick to the tried-and-tested and also judge others for attempting to do things differently. Seriously people are messed up.

    • You made me beam from end to end. Thanks a bumper big bunch! ❤
      We sure are messed up. Whatever happened to live and let live? So many of the maxims we learnt in school have become just that – maxims that nobody really follows.

  3. I am often told that I’m too much of a rebel for my own good. Also a misfit in the usual way of living life. I am glad that there are three men in my life – Baba, my husband and my toddler who think I am still going the right way. You have been one of my best discoveries of A2Z. I look forward to reading your posts every single day

    • Three awesome men who understand and support you and let you be you – that is definitely a huge blessing. 🙂
      Thanks a bunch for your encouraging words, Sonia. Totally made my evening ❤

  4. Awesome! So true. We all are in some kind of a jail. And sometimes we move to different jails! And your right ..make it pretty! And pink..or purple! And ask the guards to send some cake!

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