Just encountered you weeping in response to questions posed by Barkha Dutt and I felt she was just rubbing in things with the loud questioning, though trying to show solidarity as a woman. Let me tell you, that please do not even bother about being singled out- feel privileged. When people pick targets such as you, they are actually bringing to light a bigger social malaise out there- the double ostracism of women who marry across the border. They face rejection as ‘outsiders’ in a foreign country (how foreign can Pakistan be though, for we are the same people) and while back home they are made to look like ‘traitors’.
Remember as women we will have to represent many things, not just the trades and professions we choose or choose to excel in, as in your case. But being a sportsperson you have all the more reason to remain focused on the idea that people like you are the modern symbols opposing patriarchy, defying man-made boundaries, defying stereotypes in so many ways. You are a symbol, remember that. Most of this is targeted at who you represent symbolically – so give a befitting reply, not a baby’s crying.
Also remember that when one lives a life in the public eye, personal is political and the vice versa. Just imagine if someone had said something of the same sort to a woman who is ‘invisible’ to the public eye- a simple homemaker in Karachi or Dariba Kalan in Delhi, who would have bothered about her? So in targeting you, the ones who targeted just wanted some visibly and of course bring you out in the open and make you face situations that are all fabrications of their mind, their values and their ideas of beti and bahu. Forget it- you are a daughter of India and a daughter of Pakistan. We do not marry countries and become in-laws to a whole nation. I find the in-law word a bit of an anathema and a root of a whole lot of problems in the world.
But we are all proud of you, for you are girl of our subcontinent- a girl who breaks stereotypes about every possible dimension. So just maintain your tenacity and keep the focus, just like you focus on your balls, while in the court. Make this a turnaround situation, to speak up for women who face, what you just did. Do not cry like a baby- speak up like the woman of substance you can be. Bring your sporting spirit upfront NOW.
Love and blessings to you
from a musician who works in ‘recovering voices’- old enough to be an older sister to you 🙂