My school used to have assemblies every Monday, and every time, a different class would be assigned to prepare something for that day. And it happened to be my class’ turn to present something to the school the next Monday. Our class shuffled through many ideas, ultimately settling on the topic of discrimination. We had two skits, one for racism and one for sexism. I happened to be in the second one, playing the role of a daughter from a rather backwards family in a small village in rural India. The story went that the girl had been picked for a job interview and wanted permission from her parents to go. The parents, being backwards, deny her permission and tell her that women didn’t need to work as the men of the house (here, the brothers) would take care of all the expenses. They keep arguing about it and the father, in his rage, tells the daughter, “you were born a caretaker and you will be a caretaker for the rest of your life”. Now, on one day, the boy playing the father decided to be absent, and so, when the class teacher asked if anyone knew his lines, I confidently raised my hand and told her that I knew them. Another person was picked to play the daughter for that practice. I said all the lines flawlessly and was full of confidence, until one point where it all went south. Instead of saying, “you were born a caretaker and you will be a caretaker for the rest of your life”, my genius self, decided to say, “you were born a caretaker and you will die a caretaker”. And that was it. The class fell silent for a second as everyone processed it. And then, laughter filled the room. All the previously built-up tension burst and everyone including me had a good laugh. My teacher, while wheezing told me to calm myself and sit down in my place. Eventually, on the day of the assembly, another girl played the daughter, and I gave the final speech at the end about how sexism is a bad thing. Thankfully, the boy didn’t goof up like me and the program went on without a hitch.
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