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Showing posts from February, 2014

And one for the Mrs...

The cleaning lady wanted me to fill some forms for her so that she could get an identity card for working in the apartment. She gave me her voter’s card and asked me to copy details from it. Slightly bewildered, I looked at the card twice. Her name on it said R….a Bewa. “Bewa” means widow in Urdu and I found it odd  for someone to have a family name like that. When I asked her she told me that her husband passed away a few years back and since then in all the official documents her surname is written as Bewa. When he was alive she used to write her name as R…a Bibi. I was stunned. It was a tragic reflection of marital status overshadowing a woman’s identity.
After the initial shock, I brushed it off as something that perhaps still resides in a certain economic strata. After all, the women around me have moved on from the evident stamps of wearing a chooda, sindoor and bichuwa to declare their marital status to the world. They don’t even change their surnames after marriage.
I would hav…