A translation from urdu” Kaghazi Hai Pairahan” By Ismat Chughtai

“……I asked them why they didn’t dress themselves up.”never felt the need ! Why, do I look ugly?one of them [girls in Russia] threw back at me.  Not really,But you will look even more beautiful [if you wear make-up].”I would like to offer goods that are genuine.My own complexion,lips and femininity are good enough”, she replied with confidence……

….In my stories I have  written a great deal about women’s economic subjugation and helplessness. If a girl obeys the men in her family simply  because she is economically dependent on them,then it is not obedience but deception. If a wife stays with her husband  simply  because  he is her provider then she’s  as helpless as a prostitute. The children born of such a mother will only display helplessness and a slavish mentality. Such a people  would  always be dependent on the munificence  of developed nations.As long as the women of our country continue to suffer oppression without resistance we will be weighed down by a sense of inferiority  in political and economic  spheres too.

Translation by  M. Asaduddin

Ismat Chughtai     [1911-1991] She was most courageous  and controversial  writer of her time.She was distinguished  both by the themes  she dealt with and  the style  she developed to treat them.As the  subcontinent’s  foremost feminist writer she was instinctively aware of the gendered double standard in the largely feudal and patriarchal structure of the society she lived in and did everything to expose and subvert it………….From the book Ismat Chughtai  A Life in Words, memoirs  – M. Asaduddin

Supremely impressed and a big fan of her  cannot  resist to share her thoughts   as they  are  so relevant   even after so many years.    

Author: nehal

Physician by profession, I like to spend my spare time reading literature and philosophy, getting to know different cultures and exploring various forms of creative expressions,..paintings,music, photography, cinema, theatre, sculpture and of course poetry. I usually write in my mother tongue Gujarati and sometimes in Hindi and English. Nehal’s world is at the crossroads of my inner and outer worlds, hope you like the journey…

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