Saturday, June 7, 2008

The women we have become....

" Aaji jhar jhar mukhar badal dine..jaani ne..jani ne kichu te keno je mon lage naa" thats a rabindrasangeet-- that aptly describes my mood now..here's a close translation " This day awash with rains...has made me melancholy and I cannot concentrate on anything....."

Well that explains why I am gazing aimlessly at the rains lashing with full force against my window panes...instead of writing about the economy of monsoons!

So just to take a break..let me speak about women....no this is not a post where i will wax eloquent on the merits of feminism nor will make this a statistically relevant study about women and their position in society....none of that...I am just going to be talking about the dilemma of many a modern woman like myself...

Sometimes I really cant decide whether all this women' s liberation that we talk about is good...Sure, we are all educated..can earn our own living...need not care two hoots about the world ..do our own thing..in short we are FREE...yet most of us want to get married make babies and be an all rounder --superwoman...but doesn't all this ambition take a toll somewhere?

Lives if you ask me have become more complicated for the woman...

If its a single and successful woman working in a big metropolitan city then u would imagine life's perfect with designer clothes and footwear (yea..yea...all you sex and the city wannabes) but its anything but...there's speculation about every aspect of her life..personal or professional..people will speculate..rumour mills will work overtime and before you know it..she will be tagged the "rich bitch"! Not to mention the pressures of tying the knot and "settling down" from the kin.

Then there is the "settled down" woman...So she did tie the knot after years of persuasion...has a job and an "oh so loving" husband who will get flowers and chocolates for his wife for the first year of marriage and then before you know it the woman will be juggling her career and home.(make notes about grocery shopping while running on the treadmill, or think about what has to be cooked for lunch the next day before going to bed) ...pressure..pressure..pressure!! That's all that remains..the flowers and chocolates disappear..and then husband plonk themselves in front of the idiot box or the computer and the woman is staring at a cauliflower in the kitchen (yes..that's pretty much the flower that remains fair and square in her life) yet, the woman cant give up her job...the money is important and the family cant do without it now....and given the constant rise in prices...being the housewife is quite out of the question!!!

And yet...when the occasional get together with friends do happen..the men will all be gallant and make jokes about being married or being happy!

The "settled woman" becomes a mother and there is yet another dilemma about what to do...how does one leave the little baby and go?! yet work..we must...so life begins to revolve around baby food diapers and maid servants the single most important being in her life!

She goes to work, comes back home, plays with the baby....plonks herself on the bed...and that's the end of her day..repeats it round the year..before she decides either to quit or job...or to leave her baby with an elderly family member....

So called normalcy is restored...but what does it do to the mother? Is she at peace with herself? What about the child who is growing up never to see his or her mother around when he is gurgling is amusement when his pulls out a baby thumb out of his mouth...or is crying just to be held close!

We are the modern women...the fairer sex who have it all...but what has all the liberation done to us? Have we become modern day monsters, who refuse to be like our mothers? Frankly, I have no answers..hope to God SOMEBODY does!


5 comments:

Gunjan Pai said...

ki holo hothat? these r tough questions, girl - specially if there are pressures around. It does take courage to follow ur happiness, and just your happiness. Thats what i try to do...

gypsymusings said...

I dont know how many women make the choice of career dictated by notions of womens lib, I think it is just something you want to do. And then there are other things you want to do, get married, have a baby. I think they are choices we make following our happiness.

The ketchup girl said...

its a terrible choice. and strangely a choice we make with a lot of ease initially. I cannot tell you in enough words what it takes to be this so called modern woman. Its a medley of dilemas - i dont want to quit my job, i want to stay with my kid, and dont want to stay with her at the same time...its madness. but in madness, i find somehting to do and hope and lookforwad to...thast what life is....make the best out of all situations. So u do that too and get pregnant. :)

Alivia said...

Well said Gargi,"we refuse to be like our mothers". But just think about the expectation of the society from us. Will the society be happy if we are only superb housewife like our mothers?? We are expected to persue our carrer that will help the society to claim that they are liberal/modern but again at the same time we are often expected to follow the traditions/norms of the family that our mothers/grandmothers followed. We are expected to balance three generations.Today if a women with prospective carrer due to some unavoidable reasons has to take a break in her carrer she has to answer the society every single day why she is not working and how does she spends her day without a carrer? Even if she is taking care of all the household activities just like our mothers did. And more to that she is confidentaly managing the then said man's job that our mothers where never expected to manage or think about. The society expects an answer from us but they never thought to question our previous generations. So dear, is the dilema only within the women,isn't the society adding fuel to the fire?????

Debdatta said...

I have tried living by the rules of compromising your dreams for the benefit of the family, trying to make both the ends of 'what i want' and 'what is expected of me' meet....and I have failed. Infact, I had never been unhappier.
However, selfish it might sound, I have stopped trying to 'please the world'. I live life in a way that makes me happy. The middle path may be some day...i'll take it but first make sure that I am happy about taking it.