A deep well can hide within itself a lot of secrets, can’t it? The deeper you go, the darker it gets and once you’re at the bottom of the well, climbing up can be difficult.
Women – yes, you read that right – have hearts like that. Your mother, your grandmother, her mother, and her grandmother – house homes within their souls, burying the sorrows of unshared secrets with a selfless devotion that makes them the gentle sky over ungrateful relationships.
My gynaecology rotation for the fourth year has ended and if there’s one thing that I can confidently state is this: I can’t be a gynaecologist simply because watching all these women silently suffer – either out of choice or because of the monstrous patriarchy – and neglect themselves is beyond the realm of my patience.
“Koi baat nahin. Har aurat k saath hota hai.”
“It’s alright! Happens to all women at some point!”
“Aurat ho! Bardaasht karna seekho!”
“You’re a woman. Learn to tolerate the pain!”
Remarks like these are the sad, sad language of communication when it comes to women and their health issues. The worst part is that majority of the women here do nothing to take their health seriously until it’s just too late; their pain goes unacknowledged, and in the few cases where they do make it to the doctor’s clinic, they need ‘permission’ from their husbands or fathers or brothers or sons before they can make decisions regarding their own health. Follow-up and compliance with medication is something you don’t see very often in a society like ours.
So it’s this very sad state of affairs that the gynaecologists of our nation have to witness and fight every day. To see your own womenfolk lose themselves to this dirty tide every second is something that at least I can not find the courage or patience to do.
There’s a fine line between being patient and between tolerating a physical pain that is making your everyday chores a burden.
The society – and it’s women themselves passing on this archaic ideology that wrongly glorifies the concept of silent suffering – reinforces the importance of how women must take care of their beauty, but they aren’t taught how to respect themselves, how to prioritise themselves – their physical, mental, emotional health. And that’s when it hits you – the most important, the most nurturing ones amongst our population are also the most neglected. That’s not just depressing, it’s infuriating, it’s unfair, it’s unkind. What is very, very easily forgotten is the fact that only when a woman herself is physically, mentally, emotionally healthy can she be the caretaker of all those leaning on her. Most importantly, it’s the kindest form of self-respect that she owes to herself.
While chasing the soft clouds, the reflection of womanhood is lost, is blurred. And the blue of the sky racing behind these soft clouds is mirroring the speed of our lives. The heart and the soul have forgotten to caress the softness of this wool.