(Written in 2009
I no longer do hijab)
When I joined my husband in Saudi Arabia, I was a very scared woman. I had heard horror stories of what happened to ladies who let the head cover slip from their head. Coming from a very liberal background , I was used to roaming around with complete freedom as far as clothes went. I wore everything from sarees, pants, shalwar kameez to even skirts. I was looking forward to joining my husband but was very apprehensive of life out there.
For the first two years of my stay there , I was always scared of somehow stepping out of line and being deported by the police.
I started teaching in a school there and slowly got used to life there. However, I still chafed at the rules and regulations out there and longed to go back to my sleeveless, sporty gear without having to cover my hair.
last year my husband got a job in Muscat and we were all thrilled. After coming here, I felt that finally I was out of my sasural and in my mayka once more.
I could wear whatever I wanted, go everywhere freely, without having to be accompanied by my husband. This meant that I could go shopping alone!! No more frowning supervision.
I binged on buying lots of sleeveless tops, pants and a few skirts.
However, having lived in Saudi for 5 years I had become very religious .
Religion becomes the operative word here. Though for me my religion is intensely private but it has affected my lifestyle. I found that I have become very conservative in my views and can no longer be as casually dressed as I earlier was.
And yes now that I don’t have top cover my hair out of compulsion, I have started doing hijab!!!
I realise that covering your hair is no big deal. The problem is of being coerced and having to do things you don’t believe in and being untrue to your own ideals and philosophy of life.
Now that I have the choice of making my own choices , I feel liberated.
I think maybe this is the philosophy we should adopt in all our dealings, particularly with our children.