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The day 26-year-old Jhelum Anikhindi broke free of her bra

Women in India are expected to behave in a certain way. The moment a woman oversteps her prescribed 'limits', she is either called names or shamed for her 'indecent' conduct. Among other things that offend sanskari sensibilities, being skimpily clad seems to be the number one crime. But what if a woman dares to go braless? Mumbai resident Jhelum Anikhindi took up the challenge, and here's what she has to say about her 'braless day'

Sreyashi Mazumdar @Sreyashi27 7 May 2018, 6:25 PM
T2 Diaries
Jhelum Anikhindi dared to break through the prison called bra

Jhelum Anikhindi dared to break through the prison called bra Image: Facebook/ Jhelum Anikhindi

One of the great joys of coming home from work is breaking out of the shackle that most people call the bra. Well, I decided to reverse that. I went to work braless. 

It was a really hot day in Mumbai and I was in no mood to spend the day adjusting my bra. And I had a hectic day ahead. So, on an impulse, I decided to break free of it. 

As soon as I stepped out of the house, I was unsure of the experiment — if that's what you would like to call it.

I was worried. I didn't keep a bra in my bag as a backup. I felt like everyone I passed by knew I wasn't wearing a bra, but that was mostly in my head. Once I was drowned in work, though, I didn't give it a second thought. I was pretty comfortable, and not once did I think about my braless status. To cut it short, the sense of freedom after going braless was way beyond the joy I was expecting for breaking society's diktats. I was pretty comfortable in my own skin.

I felt more confident. Obviously, there were spells of discomfort, but that was okay. Plus no bra means no rashes, no strap marks, and obviously more breathing space.  



The next thing that struck my mind was sharing the 'experiment' on social media. As soon as I shared my experience on Tumblr and Facebook, I got mixed reactions. I remember how my post incurred a certain user's wrath. The user completely lost it and started lecturing me on breast sizes. But thankfully before I could respond, other users intervened to point out the flaws in the self-appointed lecturer's argument.

On Facebook, most of the responses were about how bold it was of me to take such a step, and how it's important to understand that a woman's attire has nothing to do with her work or workspace.

Talking of workspaces, I have personally encountered such awkward episodes where colleagues have passed comments about my clothes/ my team members' clothes. It's not like we walked into office in swimwear, but even dresses and sleeveless outfits or deep necks have been seen as 'weapons' used to distract others.


However, coming back to the post, amid all the positive responses, there was this one particular comment that was quite 'interesting'. An anti-feminist blogger on Tumblr wrote, "You must have some small ass tits that it didn’t make you uncomfortable walking out without a bra."

I feel a woman shouldn't be told what to wear and what not to. We are rational enough to pick our clothes.

All I want to say is do what is comfortable, wear what is comfortable. Don't be bound by set standards, they're meant to be broken. Just like society, if the bra feels like a prison, break free from it.

(As told to Sreyashi Mazumdar)

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