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.