I’ve a small story to tell which might be a bit disturbing in multiple levels. I love travelling and I always wanted to travel on my own to far distant countries. I would love to go to Greece, Paris or Dubai all by myself- just me, my satchel, my bags and my magazines. Sip a glass of champagne and read my favourite magazine. Yes, travelling alone can be a bit daunting but I’ve done this before and it’s really nice. I remember two months back my mother was visiting me and I was telling her all about my solo travels in UK and she was quite surprised. She asked me how I did it and if I was scared. My answers surprised her and she was happy that I had a good time travelling alone. I have been married for little over 3 years but solo travels are really nice sometimes. It gives you time to think about your life, failed relationships and above all gives you alone time. Just few days ago I wanted to get myself a visa to travel to Dubai. Man, travelling to Dubai would be nice, is what I thought. 6 days getting away from the city, shopping and having tea and macaron at Paul sounded brilliant. So, I got my visa papers sorted and I was quite kicked to submit my documents when one of the visa officers asked me for the NOC letter from my father or husband and I wasn’t sure why he wanted it in the first place. I tried telling him that I am 27, I am independent and I have a job and for Christ sake I don’t need a bloody NOC to travel anywhere. 45 minutes later, this conversation wasn’t going anywhere and his last statement pissed me off. He said that the UAE govt would want to know who I belonged to. I couldn’t believe his words and decided to just leave.
I was quite upset and I wanted to punch the visa officer really hard but actually it wasn’t his fault, may be. He was just doing his job. Unfortunately we are living in an age where women can’t travel alone, if they choose to travel alone then the society starts doing trash talk. If we buy an expensive bag or perfume, the society will ask you if your rich father or rich husband paid for it. If we decide to watch a movie all by ourselves then people will ask you if everything is fine and if you are still married. Seriously, being a women is tough. We’re so screwed. Trust me the society will suck the life force out of you. I am a bit tired of the so called rules of the society. I have faced a lot music from the society on travelling alone, on buying expensive bags and shoes and on going to watch a play just by myself.
So dear Mr Society/Mrs Society, I would want to know what’s your problem. Why does it bother you so much if I travel alone or decide to buy an expensive bag for myself. I mean how jobless are you? Do you pay any of my bills? Please stop passing judgement. I don’t need anyone’s permission to travel or to buy a bag. So please mind your own business. I will do whatever I want to. I don’t need anyone’s approval. And yes, don’t tell me that I am a girl and I need to be careful. Please teach your sons to be human beings and not rape girls. Don’t tell your daughters to be careful, ask your son to treat girls with respect. Don’t tell them that boys don’t cry, teach them better. Boys don’t make others cry. I think the problem with the society is bad parenting. Parents always seem to have an excuse to pamper boys but when it comes to their daughters they follow archaic rules. I hope every mother stops discriminating and stops being partial to their sons. I hope the next time a son misbehaves with the daughter, the parents have the courage to slap the son and tell him to shut up and not tell their daughter to forgive the son. We need to change rules. We need to start being human beings first.
I hope I can travel to Dubai someday without a NOC from my father or my husband because I am not a piece of furniture and I don’t belong to anyone. I BELONG TO MYSELF.