A woman's story of &
“You must give everything to make your life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in your imagination.” ― Roman Payne
I had grown up seeing my mother as a successful homemaker. She looked after all of ours’ needs, as if she was well versed in telepathy. Before we could utter a word, the need was satisfied. I used to wonder how she could single-handedly manage all daily household chores. My father and all of us had weekly leaves but she had none.
As I grew up she became my best buddy. We were each others’ confidant. And sometimes in the solitude of a lonely night she would confess her secrets of deep anguish. She wanted to be a teacher. But my grand mother had given her a choice of family OR career. She chose us over her dreams. My aunt on the contrary was determined to pursue her work life along with family. Though I was too young then, but today I know she must have done justice to all her responsibilities. However her family never appreciated her efforts. Her sincere efforts were responded with apathy and insensitivity. Her only fault was she chose “&” over “OR” for her life, for her existence.
Today is another era, an era of globalization, an era of virtual relationships and an era of (so called) women liberalization. But as a woman do you feel liberated? Do I feel liberated of the societal norms of the bourgeois society? I doubt! It’s true, that the woman of today handle meetings and client presentations as efficiently as she cooks a delicacy in the kitchen. She smilingly takes humongous responsibilities at office, along with looking after a household. She is dancer, a writer, a social butterfly as well as a doting mother. The “&” has slowly moved into her existence. But yet is she liberated? Her dream is more serene, it’s pure, it’s volatile and it’s divine.
I can touch the sky- a lady pilot
“Where dainty fairies fly with their wings wide open,
Where lush greenery has no end, where all rules are broken!
Where cows loiter around, with bells around their neck,
Where phoenix of imagination, rises from a wreck!
That’s the land, where my story belong,
Where the essence of living is felt life long”
I emote through my creativity- a dancer
The world today is modern, yet toll of heinous crimes like rape, domestic violence and sexual abuse is witnessing a record high. A working a woman needs to travel, she needs to return home late for completion of work, but she is bound by the fetters of unsafe society condition. Who is responsible for this condition, the government or we? There is no answer. A corporate woman looks classy and attractive in her attire. But she feels unsafe to wear such clothes, if some bunch of hooligan laid their dirty eyes on her, even the heads of the intellectual society may start judging her from the length of her skirt.
Stop this abuse
The world today is modern, yet even after having a long day at office, a quarrel with her senior and unbearable work pressure, the woman is expected to make tea for her husband. And if she is in a joint family, the responsibilities are much more. Afterall it’s her own choice to add an “&” to her life. She has to face the dire consequences of that “&”.
The world today is modern, a woman is flying an aircraft, she is a successful scientist, she is a painter, she is a writer and she is also a homemaker. And obviously she has stresses in life, equivalent or may be more than her male counter parts. Yet our modern society does not take her letting loose positively, her boozing or smoking (alcohol intake and smoking are injurious to health) are signs of derailment. But the same activities are a man thing.
Sometimes I actually feel the modernisation is a pseudo one, long ago Goddess Sita had given “Agni Pariksha” to prove her sanctity and even today the examination continues. But does the parochial society stop, me or you from adding that most desired “&” or “&”s to our lives? The answer is “NO”. Let the society put more obstacles, we are ready to take more challenges and ready to rock the world. As long as Amelia Earharts, Junko Tabeis, Arundhati Roys are there to show us the path to success, we are not going to let the society or even the family to exchange our “&s” for “Ors”.
For me “Or” was never a consideration. My life cannot be one dimensional. While I am a chemical engineer by profession and give loads of importance to my career, I have other passions to pursue. I am an ardent reader of fascinating fictions; I love to dance and act. Every year I participate in plays, and make it a point to quench my creative thirst. But writing is a part of me, and writing blog posts are just the beginning I feel. I desire to write a book. A book that will portray the ethos and pathos of a woman who chooses “&” over “OR”! I desire to portray her day to day emotional ups and downs and the response she receives from the society. But besides every thing I want to be a successful homemaker, an understanding daughter and daughter in law and later a doting mother to my kids. Fortunately my families, maiden and after marriage have been supportive to all my dreams. And my husband has always felt proud of my creative know-how. He has played my crisis angel time and again. But not every woman is blessed with an understanding family like mine, and for them coping up becomes a tiresome journey.
My pen is mightier than your fetters
Lastly I want to convey to the society, don’t let fetters bind the women of your families. Allow them to fly and be witness to their journey of victory, be understanding and be sympathetic. Because we have decided to choose “&” over “OR”, and the decision is firm enough to combat void societal hypocrisies. My requests to all the women who find it difficult to maintain everything due to lack of co-operation is don’t give up! We are not born to please, be yourself and love yourself, know your true worth and the world will know it too.