Monday, March 8, 2010

I want to be my mother.....!

Blogdosts.... this is supposed to be our day..... yaaney ki, a day reserved for us gals. In india, the much delayed Women's Reservations Bill is likely to be passed today, which will make this particular Women's Day, almost miraculous! Jai ho!!

*****

This is one of the columns I wrote to mark the day.

Oh..... and I was pleased to see my name featured on DNA newspaper's list of ' 50 Most Powerful Women in India." That's pretty cool!! Now, what the hell am I supposed to do with this so-called power??? Any suggestions, guys??

*****
Just last week I happened to come across two black and white photographs I had only a dim memory of . The images were of my mother and me on a family holiday in Shimla. She was dressed in a silk saree, her hair neatly tied in a low nape bun, her face devoid of any make-up , and yet her entire persona radiated good health, happiness and an inner peace. She didn’t need designer wear, diamonds or a Gucci bag to define her identity. She didn’t need a power job to show the world how far she’d come in life. She didn’t have to flash her myriad achievements on her sleeve. Or worry about her appearance on Page 3. She was a proud home maker whose ‘achievements’ lay in her husband’s well- being and her four children’s scholastic success. She didn’t give her family ‘quality time’ – she simply gave us ALL her time. She remained a graceful , fulfilled and beautiful woman till the very end.
I swear it – my mother and her generation of women were in a far better space than me and my contemporaries. I often envy her …. more and more as I hurtle towards yet another ‘milestone’, perhaps, a new book, a fresh and amazing opportunity, exciting travels… oh, all those impressive trophies our goal-driven society tells us are a requirement for today’s ambitious woman. It’s a question of self-esteem, we are informed. And we foolishly fall for it. The cost we pay for this exercise is steep – very steep. But this is the 21st Century. And women like myself are expected to bat for precisely such goals, so as to ‘inspire and encourage’ our less privileged sisters to follow in our footsteps… and shine.

This may turn out to be one huge folly.

But, let me not spoil the party by bringing such a perspective into the picture.
It is, after all, International Women’s Day. And we are programmed to celebrate it… without asking what exactly it is we are celebrating!
Go forth, ladies. It is your day. Don’t look back on happier times, stress free childhoods. We surrendered that privilege decades ago. Focus instead on what lies ahead – stress and success. Or should that be success and stress?? But at least, there’s the latest Louis Vuitton tote to hug and take to bed when there’s no one else around to see those tears.

46 comments:

Manjiri Kale said...

Dear Ma De,

Happy womens day...!

Tumchya aaibaddal mi jenvha vachate tenvha mala mazi aai dolyasamor diste. Ti pan ashich sadhi sudhi aai aahe. Tumchya aai sarkhi tine keleli "aamti" khup special aste. 2 varsha mi punyala rahat hote tenvha mala mess madhye jevtana kayam aaichya aamitichi aathavan vhyayachi. aata mi ghari parat aali aahe, tyamule roj aamti milate tine keleli. aani mi tichyakadun karayala pan shikale.

Aarti Badamikar said...

Such an awesome post!! I want to be my mother too..
Let's celebrate!!
Happy Woman's Day!!

Sameer said...

Happy Woman's Day. Let's celebrate the "woman" in each of us !!

La Belle Dame Sans Merci said...

Happy Woman's Day to you Maa'm. Would also love to know your thoughts on Rahul Mahajan & his latest soul-mate!!

La Belle Dame Sans Merci said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pointblank said...

So who is stopping us women from leading a stress-free lives? Society? C'mon lets not blame society for everything pls. Lets behave like adults and take up responsibility for our actions. We love the splendour and success. But we also need the inner peace and some quiet. So if we fall for the bait, it is our problem. Lets not fall for it!

Rekhaa Prahalad said...

I totally agree with what Pointblank has said.

Anil Kumar said...

I failed to understand one thing. What makes you to feel that the suggestions to paint you and your significant others in nude is nasty, ugly and degrading while a muslim painter painting Hindu goddess is an art.

Isn't it a confused state of mind from those who considers themselves open minded???

Believe me if he starts making paintings of Queen and Princess of Qatar in nude....you will find his fragile ass hanged to death on one of the bylanes of Qatar.

He got what he asked for...And such idiots can never be pride of India. The only people who say he is pride of India are those who travel a lot abroad and want to look good in the eyes of foreginers.

Gajendra said...

happy women's day shobhaa

Ashu B said...

@Pointblank, here so many constraints to stop a woman to celebrate her entity because if we talk about India, its male dominant country. Never forget if there are issues which drag our attention towards woman, they speak themselves many barrier, a women in India faces. Celebrating woman day I feel all about what progress we made as being a woman.

RAJ47 said...

Hi Shobhaa,
Congratulations to all women!
I wonder many a times, why do you women need a separate day? You women have and will always rule the world everyday, anyway!!
What's the big deal?
It to tell and remind the menfolk that you women are and will always remain special for us!!!

Vega said...

Congratulations for being in that list and happy women's day. From what you are, you must have inspired and encouraged many women. and I am sure you will keep doing it. There is this way to enhance your power and put it to use and that is joining politics. Let's hope women reservation bill gets passed today. :-)

star said...

Hi!!Congratulations for being on that list!The way you have instigated your primary values is unsurpassed.
You really keep us women out of the regular league by inspiring us.
Wish all your readers and followers a happy women's Day!!!

Mehak said...

great post! and congrats for being on the list! i believe you're already using that 'power' through being a role model and inspiration for thousands of women (and perhaps even men) out there. :)

Rujuta said...

Hi Mam
Happy Women's Day.......and heartiest congratulations to you for featuring on DNA's 50 Most Powerful Women in India......
Wishing you lots of happiness, health, peace, prosperity,wealth and joy in the years to come...... More power to you :))

krunal said...

happy women's day. but how many of u celebrate men's day or even participate in that. how many of u even know that there is sth like men's day. where's equality.? it's all abt women, isnt it?

for those women who believe in reservation for women in parliament , one question for u.

do u support reservation for obc and sc/st?

Jalpa Chauhan said...

Happy Women's Day mam!!!

SRK said...

I, heyy.. Shobha didi! happy women's day..

I read your blog after two weeks...
it was so nice...

well I am just 16 now, but still I was able to imagine the life in 60s and 70s...

yaar, no competation, no show off.. it was all about being so simple and so happy...

Nothing has changed, you know but for the vision and attitude of the people.
everyone goes for money, not for satisfaction...
Money is getting symbol of the capabilities of people...

well, it is what i think.

have a good day and keep writing for us... :)

Kapil More said...

you are so correct and thoughts so clear..somethingh which stands out of the crowd mentality and questions the race...it needs a open mind and guts to raise such questions...
btw majya baykola tumcha article vachayla lavin...my kids should get the mother i got ..atleast part of it....:)

Hobo ........ ........ ........ said...

A candle burn itself to light others And i.e., power.

Trendsetters said...

Happy womens' Day

Latha said...

What happy women's day ? I don't give a da.. It has just become another ritual. That's all.
We were not even given 33% seats when as voters we are 50%.
This women's reservation bill - is it another ritual or will it be passed in this session itself ?
Yes, our mothers' generation stood behind the curtains so that their husbands & children go out & win laurels. They had a deep satisfaction in it because they couldn't think of a separate identity & the family's success was their success. They were at peace with themselves. I couldn't agree more with you. As Mr Bachchan puts it, the housewife is the one to be respected 'cause, she has stood behind when she could have had a career, financial freedom & identity, so that her family can have all that they want by having her presence, support & guidance always. The women's day should be celebrated in their name.
Now women are over independant to the point of 'I, me, myself', have very high expectations in life with very low values or very little to give.
Result: Parents are alone, uncared, children in the creches, husband & wife divorce. The family is in pieces. Nobody is willing to compromise for the sake of the family.
Where is Indian culture ?

bindu said...

Ritual or otherwise, woman's day should be celebrated.Taking stock of what a woman stands for & lauding her for it signifies her worth.I wouldn't mind it a bit even if it was every month.

Alter Ego said...

Do we really really need the quota bill for women?
http://amapuna.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/quota-unquota-a-womens-day-shame/

Mukesh Bhatia said...

Good one after a long long time De Maam!!!

Heres Wishing you all out there a "Happy Womens day". I respect & would continue to respect you all for whole of my life.

Yeah @ Reservation Bill, I feel its just one more reason these politicians want to bank on. It is senseless to have any kind of reservation for who so ever, any where. It should always be merit.
I see many corporators, Mayors around who are females but the stature, the deals, the show off, the work is carried along by their so called respected spouses.
Lets be honest & take a deep look, why reservation at any stage????

*Aham* said...

50 most powerful women,.. Waah Waah... Jai Ho Naari..

:) U dont need to do anything with this power. you are just the best the way you are... :) lovely, and ekdam dilse. :)

************************************

reservation bill.. did u see the way M(C)P's attacked the speakers... like they were some cheel-kauvaas... My FByaar Vinta Nanda said that this should be called the Women Representation Bill instead. And I agree with her. But equally important is that these goondebaaz unruly M(C)P's are brought to book... and suspended forever.

***********************************

Mother, i so wish i had a womb. And I could bear a child... and see a part of my body become a life...


Its an heavenly experience that every man is bereft of... an experience with no equal in a man's world.


***********************************

U know de, mama's boy that i am... i always adored compliments showered on my mom as a child. My mom with her charming looks used to pass off like a college gal... and I on the contrary looked old for my age... when in school, i looked like a college boy...

once my friend spotted mom and me walking arms in arms from a distance... and he later made fun of me... saying that he spotted me with a sexy girlfriend...

And guess whattt.. i wasnt angry at alll... but ultaa... i came running home to hug mom ... and told her.. "MOM... My Friend called u sexy...I want to have a sexy girlfriend like u "... :):)


Moms never age... they remain the same... we age and our perceptions change... hai naa?

mohit said...

shobha ji,
I am writing just for giving comment to ur TOI artricle. Hope u know Hindi.
TOI m apka M.F. hussain k bare mai article pdha.bhut dukh hua ye jankar ki kuch hussain aur aap jaise log khud ko country se bada mante h.bharat mata bharat k 110 karor logo ki mata hai. hussain ne kudki maa ka vaisa photo to nhi bnaya to unki himmat kaise hui desh ki 110 karor logo ki mata Bharat mata aur other godess ki nude photo banane ki. phir art ka nam lekar use shi bhi batate hai. whatever hussain did is definately wrong. hussain ke nange per ghoomne se ya aapko vulgar mail aane se wo sahi nhi ho jayega. he insulted India and whole indian people. u said that quatar mai unko good envirnment mil rha hai. Himmat hai to wha Ke shekh ka ya unki queen ya unke god ka nude photo banaye phir dekhte Hai kaisa envirnment hota h quatar mai. Art ke Naam par aap kuch bhi karte rahenge aur log chupchap baithe rhe it is not possible. may be u r a very big woman but not bigger then country and public.

DalzRulz said...

Hello,

I read this article in DNA and got online in a bid to find some way to communicate with you. It is my loss that I did not know about your blog earlier since I miss reading your columns in Mid-Day from years ago. Your sentiments really moved me. I have no qualms in publicly admitting that my mother and I have never been the buddy sorts. There came a point where as a young adult we simply fought many verbal wars. Today, she is suffering from dementia to a point where she is not able to recognise me 9 out of 10 times.

But, that’s not even what I want to talk about today. I wanted to tell you that I go through the exact same feelings and emotions each time I see her old photographs; they are from a different era altogether where she looks like a lady right out of the movies or something. Almost good enough to give any leading lady from that time a run for her money. And, this was after two kids. I, on the other hand, look like a rag doll compared to her.

Times have changed now and so have my feelings for her. Now, I just see this cute old woman, who has probably been through good times and bad. But, I am sure, somewhere in the deep recesses of her mind, she too must cherish only the good times spent with her family. How many of us, today’s women, can lay claim to such glory and joy and quality of life?

Indeed, these were the real ladies, the real women, the real McCoy.

Warm Regards,
Daljeet

sunil golcha said...

hi shobha
that article about your mom was awesome

ARATI HARIKUMAR said...

Hello Maam!!
A superb post as usual!! but i beg to differ.....I cannot help but wonder why do we even need a Womens day? What is it that we do differntly on this one day??Do we gain any extra attention/respect from our male counter-parts...In rural india, women do not even know thta thr is a day for THEM...for thousands others its just a day. Women empowerement is still a long way 2 go...

Loved what u wrote about ur mon though....:)

Nandita Iyer said...

That line said it all - 'Not quality time but ALL her time' Happy Women's Day to you :)

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BIG Omi said...

Wish you a very happy women's day! (Belated)

I dont think you're one of the top 50 most powerful women in India. I think you're the most powerful one!

Well you've got huge number of followers to be precise 2264 according to your sidebar... take up a meeting.. send them mails on your Ideas.. crystallise some goals for social development... if celebrity blogger like you wud do it .. then mebbe others can join the bandwagon!

BTW i think your mom must be very proud of you! Let your ideas make other moms around happy :)

Take Care
BIG OMi

BIG Omi said...

BTW you women totally deserve the women's day!
Women around the world were treated weak and downtrodden, were taken granted for, and looked down upon by other sect.

Successful women are classic example of However bad start of anything can be shaped up to beautiful tomorrow! YOu successful women showed the world what Fight Back truly means. Bravo!!!

Madhumita Jena said...

I completely agree with what you have mentioned. Though i am in my 20"s my mom was a house wife. The only thing that mattered to her was her husband, kids and home.

Today we hunt for Quality time as you mentioned, but for her it was all the time ..

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Theyoginme said...

I am too reminded of my late mother..thanks for the nice articles and happy international womans day..but instead of hugging the tote bag, if your stressed, try some setu bhandha sarvangasana.. great chest opening, release of the tight stomach and blood gushing to your brain to give you fresh energy.. I just tried it tonight...

Sidhusaaheb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sidhusaaheb said...

People just don't seem to value peace of mind any more, rather than material possessions or 'victory' in the 'rat-race'.

Women in Western countries are becoming increasingly aware of that and re-prioritising their lives. Many of them choose to work part-time or 'flexi-time' or from home or not at all, at least until their children come of age. You would, I suppose, know even more of such trends than I do, since you travel a lot more than me.

Reservation, as a policy, I believe, is fundamentaly flawed, because it breeds and perpetuates incompetence, as has been seen in India over the past six decades. I don't see how it can be expected to do for women what it hasn't done for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Castes over that period of time.

Din0410 said...

Its very easy become famous in India!!
How? Not by hard work, intelligence, Just write some thing controversial on twitter, defame Hindu goddess, sketch dirty paintings ( and then sell for million dollars ) , support nations who are our enemy. You will become very popular... this is the way we preserve our democracy...

Jai Ho…..

Madhu said...

I did not realize you are bi-lingual!! I am going to buy this book.

I am eagerly waiting to hear what you got to say about our Behenji's recent stunt (garland made of 1000 rupee notes).

ambarishksharma said...

http://ambarishksharma.blogspot.com

My views about your views can be found here.
Good Bye.

mahatru said...

Hi Shobhaji

Very true "It is, after all, International Women’s Day. And we are programmed to celebrate it… without asking what exactly it is we are celebrating!
Go forth, ladies. It is your day. Don’t look back on happier times, stress free childhoods. We surrendered that privilege decades ago. Focus instead on what lies ahead – stress and success. Or should that be success and stress??"

Regards
Mahatru
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kshitu said...

dear mam,
i really like ur post of i want to be my mother....!i like ur way of writing.u r really great mam.
jai ho.
regards
kshitija

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