Shame is a valid emotion and it is needed for the proper functioning of a human being. But here I am talking about the shame that is often slapped in my face in the name of opinions, concern, society. The shame that I know is not mine but it has been repeated so many times by people around me that even I doubt if it’s my own.

Yes, there was this guy I really liked. I agree, I texted him first. At first, he seemed interested but then he thought I was too easy to get. He questioned if I didn’t have any shame? But the only thing my message read was, “will like to know you more.” So, is it wrong to tell someone that I would like to know them better?

Then that day, I didn’t greet that uncle. That uncle you know, yes, the one who forcefully touched me when I was a child. I was still young back then, can’t tell you what I felt. I was too young to have the vocabulary to explain that unsettling feeling. Honestly, I still don’t know what will be the exact words for it. But then everyone started blaming me. They said you should be ashamed for not greeting the uncle?

So where does my shame lie? Does it lie in me texting the guy first?  Does it lie in not greeting that man? Or does it lie in my head?

That day, I went to the nearby lingerie store. The woman of the store was out for lunch. I was getting late so asked the guy there to show me the lingerie. This girl who lives in the same building, she expressed that she felt ashamed of it. She told me she will never go out with me again. I could have waited for some time for the woman of the shop to return. She questioned, if I don’t have any shame? But what’s wrong in telling your requirements to the merchant who deals in the commodity you want to buy?

Did I tell you about the woman who stays next door? The other day she was curious that a male colleague dropped me late at night. She clarified she saw me at 11 PM. Apparently, she couldn’t sleep because she was so worried for me. But I think she didn’t even know that I was still in the office by that time. She told me it was not good for me to come home with a male colleague that late at night. And I need to be ashamed. But it was late and that’s exactly why I had to ask a male colleague to drop me home.

Where does my shame lie? Does it lie in the lingerie I bought? Does it lie in another woman’s opinion of me?  Does it lie in the hate I started feeling for these two women?

That dress, I wore for my farewell. Yes, it had a deep neck. This classmate opinionated strongly that she would rather die than wear such a dress. She told me she felt ashamed looking at me and was astonished that I was talking to a male classmate at the event. She stated that I could have avoided that conversation. But if she felt ashamed, why did her eyes follow me for so long?

Let me tell you about the guy whom my parents wanted me to meet. He was happy to know that I have an income. He told me how he abhorred the women who don’t earn and just talk about feminism, he knew the difference between feminism and fake-feminism too clearly. He voiced strongly that the best thing about our relationship will be that we can take care of the finances collectively. But then one day, he was cribbing about how his sister-in-law was late in serving dinner. “Sister-in-law is so lazy,” he blurted.

“But why didn’t you serve it,” I enquired. He was astonished and replied “I am a man; I don’t go inside the kitchen.” He said I should be ashamed to even have said that. I said just like the finances we both could take care of the cooking collectively. He asserted, “you should be ashamed.”

But where does my shame lie? Does it lie in that deep neck? Or the classmate who talked so lowly of me? Does my shame lie in the kitchen? Or in the alliance which didn’t take place?

Where does my shame lie? They say you need to be a good woman.
So why do you even ask? Then I say I no longer ask. I realised I need to be thick skinned you see. I need to be indifferent to what others want me to feel. So, I rejected it. I stopped reacting to those words.

But now they say you are too self-absorbed. Your shame lies in the rejection that you give to this society…………