An Era Of Voiceless Women: What Would You Do If You Lost Your Voice Today?

I hold deep admiration for two kinds of people:

Strong women


 People with strong voices.

I’ve always been impressed by women with strong voices – women who are not afraid to speak for their own rights; women who can handle everything in the universe; women who start out as little girls playing with Barbie dolls and grow into utterly perfect young ladies and move on to become mothers who are ten thousand times stronger.

Anything that sets us back physically, actually gives us a boost mentally. We are always striving to reach to the top, no matter what. We are always ready to speak out loud for our own rights and for the million women like us.

And in today’s world, we DO get a say.

However, there had been darker times in the past.

My brother and I, growing up far away from our grandparents, didn’t really have a close relationship with them. We visited them once in two months, only for an hour or two and interactions were pretty much limited.

My grandmother was a petite woman with graying hair and a thousand wrinkles covering her face.

The many times she would call me to her room, she would spend away every minute asking me how my studies were going on. After a couple of small talks, there would be nothing to talk about, so I’d stand up and simply walk out of the room.

Conversations with her were usually small and I couldn’t blame her for it. There was a huge generation gap in the first place and second, I wasn’t really good at conversations.

So when my grandmother came to stay with us for a week, I decided to take the opportunity and get to know her better. The entire prospect of having someone in the empty house and not having to spend silent hours, thrilled me.

Every day after Mom and Dad would leave for their work, she would call for me and my brother and tell us a story.

No, the story never had princesses or horses in them, but they spoke about the lives of strong women and how they fought against the differences in the society in the past. As teenagers, the stories never caught our attention, but we heard them nevertheless because she seemed so happy while telling us those little tales.

It was the last day of her stay. My parents had taken a day off. While Mom was busy in the kitchen, Dad was talking to me. Grandma sat next to Dad, muttering something to herself as she flipped through the pages of the newspaper.

“I really think you should go there,” Dad said as he looked down at the folder containing a list of my preferred colleges.

“No, Dad! I want to go to a co-ed college!” I snapped. “I’ve told you so many times that I don’t want to go there.”

“But it’s a good college!”

“I don’t care!”

“Why are you always so adamant?”

“Because,” I spoke in a louder voice. “You don’t listen-“

“Theya!” my grandmother snapped suddenly.

For a woman as calm and collected as my grandmother, it was an unusual reaction.

“Keep your voice down,” she said.

A part of me was terribly irritated and the other part of me was embarrassed. Fighting the little tears that had started pricking at the corners of my eyes, I turned to Dad.

“I’m not going to that college, “I spoke through gritted teeth.

He sighed, shaking his head and standing up. This meant that we were not having this conversation today.

After he had left the room, Grandma motioned me to take a seat beside her. Grumbling, I complied.

“You didn’t have to talk like that to your dad,” she spoke.

“But I should have a say in what college I am going to study in!”

“You do have a say. That is why your parents are still waiting for your final decision.”

“But is it wrong to raise my voice? Is it wrong to stand up for my own wishes?”

Pulling me close, she shook her head.

“No,” she said. “I’m happy to see that you’ve a strong voice. You are growing up to be a strong woman. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Back in our times, though we had a voice, we never got a say in things.”

I looked up to meet her glistening eyes.

“Why?” I asked.

“I was born in an era of voiceless women. We were strong, but we didn’t have a voice. All we did, was sit in the kitchen and hear to the decisions being made. Back in those darker days, women were thought to be weak. The one or two who dared to speak up were looked down upon.”

“It’s surprising,” she continued, “to see how much things have changed! Women have made their mark in every field and they have struggled a lot to get there. I see the little me in you, Theya.”

By then, her voice had been breaking at places.

She held my hand and gave it a little squeeze.

“My father decided not to send me to school after the fifth grade. I was adamant to go. Yet, I didn’t know how to speak out in front of him. I was afraid of what he might say when he listens to me. So, all I could do was cry silently for several days. I had a voice, only, I was afraid to speak out. And so were many other women.”

“I don’t believe it,” I muttered.

This caused her to laugh.

“Oh, no, you don’t! Times have changed, hopefully. Women have always been strong. Back then, they had been strong as well. Only, without a voice,” she said. “When I see pretty young ladies like you, liberated and not held back by any constraint, it makes me immensely proud.”

That day, I saw my grandmother as the woman she was – strong, bold and beautiful. Though it was hard for me to believe that there had been a time like that, I could feel her pain. I could feel how it felt to not have a say in anything.

“So,” my grandmother began again. “What would you do if you lose your voice today?”

Later that night, when she was packing her stuff, I wished she could’ve stayed a bit longer.

“Grandma,” I said as I walked to her and offered to help with the packing. “I think I would probably go mad if I lost my voice for a day. I mean I can’t imagine that you’ve gone through all that!”

Shaking her head, she smiled to herself.

“Stand strong.”

Her question kept me awake for the entire night. Indeed, what would I do if I lose my voice for a day?

Art by-caffeineaddict
Art by-caffeineaddict

The BEST Things About Wattpad – #3 – The People Out There (Second Edition)

You know you are going to love a person who mistakes “pastime” for “pasta”! And that is exactly the type of conversation I had with a very talented Wattpad author – @fecundity.

In a candid conversation with the author, I learned about her interests and her take on the cliche stories that dominate Wattpad. She was generous enough to not listen to the constant complaints of her stomach and answer my questions. Of course, I felt guilty after that!

Here are the excerpts from the interview-


Me – Tell us something about yourself?


She – Me. Well, I’m 24, brunette, and of the female gender. I have ten fingers and ten toes. I spend my days converting oxygen into carbon dioxide while my fingers fly over the keyboard. 🙂


Me – How did you discover Wattpad?


She – My memory is foggy as to how I learned about Wattpad. However, I do remember being amazed by the concept of free books! I couldn’t believe my luck when I discovered it. I was a silent reader for a while and then quickly became more active to fuel my addiction. I do wish I had become acquainted earlier but hey, I’m making up for lost time now!


Me – What is your favourite pastime?


She – Favourite pasta? Oh, sorry, past time. Eating pasta. No seriously, making food and eating it is a pretty serious hobby. My Pinterest board is filled with ambitious recipes. I’m also attempting to teach myself to play bass guitar and I’m have several obsessions including, but not limited to, Clash of Clans, hockey, and reading.


Me – What is the craziest dream you ever had?


She – One time I had a dream that I was being chased by the mob and Batman was helping me escape. He took me the top floor of a skyscraper and bypassed the security code to enter this private room that begged for a clandestine meeting. Batman explodes one of the window panes and the wind howls in. My hair is blowing wildly around my face as Batman hands me a parachute and tells me to jump. My heart skips several beats in response to the sound of machine guns outside of the room and, strapping the parachute on, I ask “Only one? What are you going to do?” He says, “Don’t worry about me” and pushes me off the building.


Me (laughs out loud) – Did you ever wish you were a part of some book?


She – Wishing I was in a book happens more often than I can remember. I often pretend, and fail miserably, at being like a certain character. Usually Sherlock. No joke, I tried to create my own mind map. It lasted about an hour.


Me – Where do you get inspiration for writing your stories?


She – Dreams and daydreams, usually. I have a lot of wild dreams and I will wake up thinking “That would make a great story!”


Me – Twelve years from now, where do you see yourself?


She – In 12 years, I will be nearly 40. Do not mention or talk about such obscenities. [shudders]


Me – What is your craziest wish?


She – At the risk of sounding presumptuous and philosophical, I don’t believe in wishes. Wishes aren’t proactive. When you wish for something, it’s as if you’re waiting for it to happen to you. Rarely does that happen. Wishes need to be replaced by goals. I have a plethora of goals that I’m working towards. Right now, I’d like to finish my novel, Sweet As. Then I’ll work towards getting it published. I’m also working to starting my own business. Short-term goals lead to long-term goals lead to fulfilled dreams.


Me – Share with us some of the best cuisines you’ve tried.


She – The best meal I’ve ever had was when I went to Dubai. It was breakfast (my favourite meal of the day) and honestly, I didn’t know food could ignite so many emotions or be so memorable. Since it was buffet-style, I had a variety of food and everything was mouth-watering. Something new that I tried that day was veal bacon since pork isn’t part of Muslim cuisine. While I do prefer regular bacon, veal bacon is more piquant. Also, croissants in France are to die for. Honestly, traveling is the best way to experience food and food is the best part of life! xD


Me – Do you think you’ll ever write an autobiography?


She – Nah. I’m not very good at talking about myself.


Me – Describe your everyday life? Is it something from out of a story book?


She – Day in the life of me? It probably looks a lot like yours. 😉 The only difference is that I’m married so my day often revolves around my hubby, which is good – it means lots of date nights! On the downside, I also get tickled. A lot. Like, every day, mercilessly.


Me – What do you think is the most overused plot on Wattpad? Do you believe that writers these days are looking at the market status before starting a story?


She – There is nothing new under the sun. Shakespeare said that way back when, so it’s even truer now. I believe any ‘cliché’ plot can be brought to life with strong, vivid characters. We relate to characters more so than plots anyway. Even published authors are influenced by trends. Think of how many dystopian or supernatural (e.g. wizards, vampires) stories have been popular recently. This isn’t necessarily a negative but again, the characters must be original, especially if the plot isn’t. Jumping on a bandwagon can guarantee you an audience so that’s a plus as well. That being said, it’s hard to make the good-girl meets bad-boy story original. I think The Quirky Tale of April Hale does it the best. It’s my favourite book on Wattpad.


Me – So, the thirteenth question! Do you believe that thirteen is an unlucky number?


She – Nah. I don’t believe in luck or superstitions either. We are in charge of our own lives. There isn’t an outside energy that’s pulling strings to give us ‘bad luck’. It’s a nice thought, though, to be able to blame an ominous, inconceivable force. ;)Also, my laziness has won out. I still haven’t moved. Haha!

Her book Sweet As is available on Wattpad. Click on the cover to get to the story page!

Sweet AsStay tuned for more interviews and book reviews!