Smash the patriarchy. It’s easier said than done. What is even more difficult is to live, breathe and eat within a system which is based on the premises of patriarchy. But women are doing it every day and excelling at it. Twinkle Khanna had rightly remarked, “Women aren’t like faucets that twirl, you turn them on and everything gushes. It takes more effort.” Women are breaking stereotypes all around the world, trying to live within the system and subvert its injustices and prejudices.
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Two women who deserve your attention more than the women’s cricket team are Jyoti and Neha Kumari. They are the heroes India needs but doesn’t deserve. They had put on disguises and pretended to be men in order to run their father’s barber shop after he had fallen ill. They worked as men for four years and earned enough money not only to meet the ends but also for their father’s treat. They are the sons that their father never had because people obviously refused to get a haircut or get their mardangi trimmed by women. They would rather touch them inappropriately than let them touch their hair, because hair is more important than a woman’s virtue.
Their father’s salon was the only source of income for the family in remote Uttar Pradesh. The girls did everything that a professional barber does under the false names Deepak and Raju. They perfected the art of not just hairstyling but also disguising themselves so much so that far off communities and villagers could barely identify them. The road not taken had been a difficult one for them both initially, with people looking down on them but they set a brilliant example by earning almost 400 rupees per day. They are superheroes who don’t wear a cape. In the morning they would attend school and open the shop in late afternoon. The girls did have their priorities straight, educating themselves first and then working hard to sustain that.
As years have passed, they have slowly revealed their real identities to customers. “Now we have gained enough confidence and don’t fear anyone,” Neha said. “The majority of people have come to know that we are girls.” Jyoti has started regrowing her hair. https://t.co/gVtp2Jm22l
— Piyush Rai | پیوش رائے (@Benarasiyaa) January 17, 2019
They gradually started revealing their identities once people were more confident about their work. One of them has even decided to regrow her hair! These women were very recently honoured by the government officers. They are an inspiration for everyone struggling against all odds. You will emerge victorious. They not only looked crisis in the eye and overcame it but are two daughters who made their father incredibly proud. Stepping into the shoes of a man, doing a conventional male job in a place that is largely patriarchal deserves applause.