This post today is not going to preach how or why women are important or what is their role in the society. This is a bunch of thoughts of a lady who resides in every household of this country. We tried to visit her experience of life through her words and eyes to discover the inherent wisdom of thought that womankind holds within and keep spreading all around.
This graceful lady comes from the southern part of India and has worked with paramilitary forces. When asked what defines a woman, she instantly replies, “She’s a multitasker. We do everything.” When she pronounces the word “multitasker”, her voice sounds firm and full of self-realization. She proudly continues, “They say that wives do not do anything sitting at home, but that’s not true. We even do more work at home. We bear the responsibility of the whole household and the family. We ensure that the needs of everyone in the family are being taken care of. We play the key roles of a friend, philosopher and guide in one’s life.”
“I used to board the first train in the morning at 4:30 and return by the last train around midnight. An office going lady too has to manage her kids and I did it all, of course with the support of my family, especially my father”, she fondly recalls. What we should note here is her natural choice of words here. She is using “office going lady” when most of us normally use “working lady”. This minute understanding of the meaning of the words chosen and spoken is worth admiring. She opted for an early retirement from her services because her mother needed her. Her children were happy to see her available at home for obvious reasons. “I never made being a woman an excuse at my work. We worked at par with the gentlemen when we were at duty”, she exclaims with proud. She opines on the education of girls, “If you educate a boy, you educate a boy. If you educate a girl, you educate a family.”
She has the satisfaction of raising both her daughters well and educating them. She feels happy for she ensured that her daughters played outside after school and got a balanced and healthy childhood. “Though I could easily have provided them with video games, I chose not to bring all that non-sense home”, she supports her argument. She throws light on a major issue of our times that we are going away from our roots. She sounds uncomfortable saying, “Our folk tradition across the country is almost dying. We should have had more youngsters to hand over the rich heritage to. They identify us.”
When asked about the relationship between a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law, she lovingly narrates how her grandmother loosened the rigid regulations of rites and rituals when her aunt joined the family after marriage and how her aunt acknowledged and recognized her efforts and respected her for doing this. When we live in an era of the ugly portrayal of this beautiful relationship in saas-bahu TV serials, such examples bring a breeze.
She humbly differs from the opinion that a mother is the most significant role played by a woman and says, “I cannot treat my parents or husband in the manner I treat my children; every relation or role has its own place” and asks a counter question, “Can you tell which role makes you feel the best?” She further adds a different angle, “We don’t even need these specific days dedicated to mothers, daughters, fathers, women etc. These are meant for those who don’t have time for these relationships. In the Indian way of life, they are all so much so a part of our daily life that, you trust me, these specific days become boring for me. We actually enjoy being a family during the whole cycle of a year.”
She is politically aware and has a sound knowledge of history too. She feels disappointed with what is going on around and affirms her stand on national integrity, “We are one country.” She is a modern Indian woman who hails from and lives in a metro city and knows the difference between modernization and westernization. She understands the importance of globalization and equally realizes the significance of localization too. “Using technological gadgets does not require one to get away from one’s rich culture and traditions”, she tends to end the conversation asking to keep in touch through Whatsapp and Facebook, and blessing me with her affectionate words.
I really hope to have the dosa that she is cooking while I am writing this. Let’s respect every lady around us for what good she is doing to herself, her family and friends, her society, her country and this world by being herself. Let her be just she.