By Sangeetha G

She secretly removed the black colored miniskirt and pastel top from the cupboard and stuffed them hurriedly into her bag. She then adjusted the tip of her saree over her head to make her face only partially visible. She did not forget to wear all the signs of a traditional daughter-in-law – the nuptial chain, vermillion along the hair partition, bangles, and the ubiquitous saree.  

When her in-laws came to meet her for the alliance, they were clear about what they wanted. “We want a traditional daughter-in-law,” they declared. That word “traditional” ensured that the bride would be a meek, homely, subdued, and hard-working stay-at-home wife for their son. During the entire meeting, she kept her head down and answered in soft monosyllables the questions from the groom’s party. She did not even look up to see her future husband properly, nor did he look at her with elders around. She had been conducting herself well as the ‘traditional’ bride in her husband’s household ever since the marriage.  

After getting ready, she asked her mother-in-law permission to go out. “There is a prayer meeting at my friend’s place. Shall I go?” she asked. The mother-in-law checked whether she had completed all the household tasks on her list. She then went to her husband and asked: “the daughter-in-law wants to go to her friend’s place for a prayer meeting. Can she go?” He looked up at her and said: “If there is no work, she can. But do return within three hours,” the father-in-law gave away the much-valued permission of the patriarch. 

Her friends were waiting for her. On reaching, she threw away her saree and all the wedding symbols and got into her miniskirt and top. She had fallen in love with the dress while shopping at her favorite mall just before marriage. Soon her marriage was fixed and she never got a chance to flaunt it. 

Her mother had told her: ‘throw it away. Now you don’t want all those dresses. Your cupboard will now have only sarees. You have lived your life as you wished till now. From here on, you will live as per the wishes of your in-laws. It is a new life and you are not permitted to take things from your old life”. But the black skirt and pastel top were the only things she sneaked into her new life. She hid them from her in-laws and husband in her cupboard. Time and again, she would take them out and look at them greedily, remembering her past life.  

Wearing the miniskirt and top, she looked at herself in the mirror with appreciation. She air-dried her hair and left it open, fished out her secret make-up kit from the bag and brushed the colors lavishly over her face, and slipped into the high-heeled shoes of her friend. Now she was in her element.   

They chose their favorite place- the pub. Like their pre-marriage days, they were the noisiest girl gang in the pub. They shouted louder, enjoying their momentary freedom from in-laws. She took her shots and got on the dance floor and moved her body gracefully with the songs. All eyes were on her, including those of her husband. He had come with a friend for the first time to the pub. The pub with flashy lights and the unrestrained young crowd was a new world for him and the girl on the dance floor was a revelation. It took a while for him to realize that it was his wife. Her black miniskirt hardly reached her knees and she dazzled in the sequined pastel top. She was bold and confident and danced on the floor as if she owned it. He kept on gawking at her and after a while fell in love with her. The woman on the dance floor was the one in his fantasies – carefree and self-assertive and not one who covered herself in sarees and silently served him tea and food.  

He watched her enjoying the company of her friends and then hurriedly leaving the place. When he reached home, she was in her saree, covering half of her face. “The prayer meeting went on for a long time. She is tired,” mother-in-law told him and asked her to catch some sleep.  

He did not mention anything about the pub episode to her nor did she. He was afraid of openly accepting her real self. Mentioning the pub episode would put pressure on him to either accept or reject it. He did not dare to disrupt the status quo. He wished to see her in the miniskirt once again but was afraid of his parents discovering it ever. His parents too would not be able to accept it. 

The very next day, her mother-in-law picked up the washed clothes from the terrace. She found the miniskirt among the clothes. She lifted it suspiciously and looked at the father-in-law. He too looked at the skirt and went back to his newspaper as if nothing had happened.

Mother-in-law left the skirt hidden among the daughter-in-law’s clothes on the terrace and came down to the kitchen. “I have folded my clothes. I have not touched your clothes. Fold them yourself,” mother-in-law said. She nodded her covered head while cleaning the vessels.

4 thoughts on “Black Miniskirt

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