Landlords and the Unmarried Women in Kolkata

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Bindita shares her woes of being discriminated against and being asked personal questions by landlords in the City of Joy, Kolkata. Read more exclusively in Different Truths.

I hear all the time that women should be independent, not for others, but for themselves. We should work hard so that we are neither financially nor emotionally dependent on others. Even though in contemporary times, we are living in metropolitans, with the so-called modern people, I feel that nothing has been altered.

Moving to this beautiful city of Kolkata is proving to be ghastly for me. I used to adore everything about Kolkata but I am now disenchanted. I am a working woman but I forgot that I am a woman first. Being discriminated by the society is nothing new to us.

I and my sister have both been hunting for a rented accommodation for a few months now. We met with some landlords; we had a word with them. Since, both, my sister and I are unmarried it has become even more difficult for us to take a place on rent.

Why should I talk about my private life with the landlords?

The landlords that we met told us that because we are both unmarried working women, they will have to think about renting their place out to us. They said that if we agree to not come late at night from work, to not bring “associates” and to not do anything that is “unsocial”, will give us the place to stay. A few landlords even asked me if I have a boyfriend.

Why should I talk about my private life to them? Some landlords even presumed that my cousin was my boyfriend.

Is it the way that residents of a city welcome outsiders? Is this the way of behaving and talking? What is wrong if we came late from office? This is a possibility since there are meetings or some other last minute issue. Does this make me “unsocial”?

If a girl comes late from office or late from anywhere else, does it make her “characterless”? If we bring our so-called ‘boyfriends’ (as per the landlords) will it send out the “wrong” message to the society? If I hang out with guys does it make me a bad person?

This is how we are growing; this is the social mindset. People make the society not the other way around. We are also human just like men. We deserve to be respected.

©Bindita Sinha

Photos from the Internet

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Bindita Sinha works in Jupiter Infomedia as a Content Editor. She is based in Kolkata.