Indian society generally has two solutions to most of life’s problems—a) get married and b) have a child. In that exact order. Apparently, those are the only two milestones any woman should look forward to in life. And if you do one before the other, god save you from the judgement and the slut-shaming. Thankfully, there are several women who are challenging these patriarchal beliefs and are breaking these age-old stereotypes for good.
Bollywood celebrities like Neena Gupta and Sushmita Sen have proven in the past that motherhood does not require a woman to be married by becoming single parents. Actress Neha Dhupia broke the social stigma related to pregnancy before marriage and recently Dia Mirza did the same. The Thappad actress announced her pregnancy with a beautiful photo on her Instagram handle last week.
Dia wrote in the caption, "Blessed to be... One with Mother Earth... One with the Life Force that is the beginning of everything... Of all stories. Lullabies. Songs. Of new saplings. And the blossoming of hope. Blessed to cradle this purest of all dreams in my womb." For the unversed, the actress tied the knot with Vaibhav Rekhi on February 15 in an intimate ceremony.
While her fans and loved ones poured in their love for the soon-to-be mom, there was one user who asked why Dia did not announce her pregnancy before her marriage. She wrote, "That's so good, congrats. But the problem is, she tried to break the stereotypes with woman priest, why couldn't she announce her pregnancy before the marriage? Isn't becoming pregnant after marriage a stereotype we follow? Why can't women get pregnant before marriage?"
The actress clarified that her decision to not announce her pregnancy before marriage was due to medical reasons. She also added that her wedding was not out of any compulsion. She replied, "Interesting question. Firstly, we didn’t marry because we were having a baby together. We were already marrying as we wanted to spend our lives together. We discovered we were going to have a baby while we were planning our wedding. So this marriage is not the result of pregnancy. We didn’t announce the pregnancy until we knew its safe (medical reasons)."
Dia also added that she was only replying to the comment because she wanted to explain that women have the right to embrace motherhood on their own terms and conditions. She added, "Only answering this because: 1) Having a child is a beautiful gift of life 2) There must never be any shame attached to this beautiful journey 3) As women we must always exercise our choice 4) Whether we choose to be single and parent a child or be in a marriage it is after all our choice 5) As a society we must un stereotype our idea of what is right or wrong, instead of training ourselves to ask what is fair or unfair.”
The Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein actress had already challenged an age-old patriarchal tradition at her wedding by having a priestess conduct the wedding rituals. And now, we laud her for educating people about the fact that how someone chooses to embrace motherhood is a personal choice. More power to you, Dia!
Featured Image: Instagram