From Ma, With Love is a campaign celebrating recollections of feminist tales and lessons, passed down to us by our mothers, this Mother’s Day. The first edition of this compilation has 16 heartwarming stories. ‘The Statement Piece’ by Sejal Madhavi Yadav is the sixteenth story in this series. You can download the entire publication here.
“Sejal, I have an important meeting today, Do you think this trouser goes well with my crop top? Should I wear these drops or just pearls would go well with it?” It’s a routine to watch my Aai dress up and leave for work, while I help her put her outfit, accessories and makeup together. One such summer morning, Aai was busy dressing up, and while we were in deep thought about which neckpiece she should choose to wear today, Aai stumbled upon a tiny box with her mangalsutra in it. She paused and opened the box, knowing very well what was inside it, and took a long look at it. It was the kind of look she has on her when she browses through her old photo albums, with a train of thought running at a speed faster than lightning.
Like a person who has gained clarity of thought and vision about a longstanding matter, Aai looked at me resolutely, and said, “Sejal, I need to sell this, and buy a simple elegant chain I can wear to work everyday.” I replied, “Sure, let’s get it tomorrow itself.” The very next day, we purchased a beautiful gold chain for her in exchange for the mangalsutra. We returned home and mom tried the chain on, looking at herself in the mirror, in adoration of her new piece of jewellery. That very day, my woman of steel taught me multiple lessons in a few minutes.
By choosing her happiness over a dysfunctional relationship, and the pressures of “log kya kahenge aur log kya sochenge?” (what will people say and what will people think?), she taught me how a piece of jewellery becomes a powerful statement piece.
I want to be free, but patriarchy and capitalism tether me!
Pride with OFC, 2022
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