Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A perspective on roles of indian women...

Indusladies 2nd Annual International Women's Day Blog Contest
                                 (A perspective on roles of Indian Women)

The announcement for a contest by indusladies with this subject looks quite apt as i have been thinking on these lines recently .

Women are playing all their roles quite well , so what if some are lagging behind , there are issues to tackle , and their are some rough patches to be smoothed out , but that is the process of growth ...if it is in the right direction . In any part of the world women are juggling with the same issues , rising up and growing up , pushing the ceiling every day .

At the same time i would like to ask , why only women , even men have to justify many roles they take , and they are given names if they fail to do so. Still , I will emphasize on the challenges women have to take , abiding with the subject given , but i feel my perspective stands true to women as well as men .

As i said , the question of how women should groom themselves for a happy and content life has been pricking me for some time . Obviously , this is almost a constant thought process in the mind of an average thinking woman of our times , but these days this particular question has stuck to my mind . Thinking about a friend who didn't want to get divorced and at the same time was not able to address what she wanted in the relationship , and from life in general . All she could understand was , that she is financially independent , can take care of herself along with a 10 year old son and that she didn't want a separation ( she loved her husband and her husband loved her too ). It was a strange situation where the impending separation was being caused by 'external factors' and as the woman was not able to let go of some mental blocks , the separation looked inevitable , sadly . In spite of both the partners wanting to be together. Tricky situation.

I felt that grooming towards financial independence is given priority while bringing up the girls ( a very welcome change for sure) and  emotional well being and other life skills are given a miss. By grooming i mean growing up to become a well informed and a balanced head . I mean if a woman can free herself from the stereotype feminist views , it will be far more helpful in her complete well being. Like a set of obstacles can be there in any person's life , man or woman . And there is a set of obstacles that appear only in women's lives , if the woman blames all the other obstacles too being targeted towards her because of being a woman , this is wrong . The woman limits her resources and mental faculties by doing this. Freedom from this limitation will be instrumental. So if the husband cannot argue with his parents in your interest he is called a 'mama's boy' even if the same husband has supported you to go out and start a career of your own . The husband doesn't need to pull daggers for his parents if he loves you and wants you to succeed in life , let him maintain peace with his parents and be happy with what he is sharing with you , or get away from them all , if needed . Free yourself , but don't be prepared to be a victim. In the Indian socio-cultural milieu , the woman has to be sensitive to the balance needed in life , of hers as well as the immediate and extended family.

Fortunately , a series of telephonic 'sharing of ideas' could find a remedy for the feared separation of this friend . A workable solution , handling the situation practically and not expecting others to turn cooperative when they are not , judging them rightly , taking decisions accordingly....not acknowledging their authority when they are insensitive to you , that's it. Period.

Another acquaintance who feels that her ambition towards her career is somehow hindering with the pleasure she should get from her 4 year old son ....she thinks she has worked so hard for the career and having a kid was not in the original plan while dreaming about a big life . Kids come because we have to fit in the society , unfortunately , and then begins the struggle to sustain , all dreamy numbers evaporating in thin air .....and this ambitious mother was able to see logic for being a woman in charge of her life and happiness , she is trying to get out of the trap of proving a point about being ambitious and to please everybody regarding her career choices.

It would be worse if a woman starts out to become a hero and finally becomes a martyr , or worse , a victim . Being a happy contented soul will be so much better. 

Sometimes , we choose the roles we play , like we choose to have a dream career , a dream vocation , marry a certain person and we choose to be mothers . We justify our roles when we have chosen it consciously , we pursue our role with absolute conviction and understanding . Sometimes we fail , we learn , we try again and we succeed to a certain degree . All this we do as we had dreams of a certain life , we worked towards it and then we achieved it . What when we do not achieve as much as we had planned ?

This is the time when many of us women feel insufficient and incompetent to a certain degree , resulting into a harder struggle to succeed in every role we take. In my view point , we should not aim for absolute perfection . Learning from life , growing at every step and improvising as the life unfolds it's master plan before us...this is how we can better suit life in modern times. Aiming for absolute perfection is a waste of time , there is nothing like an absolutely perfect professional, absolutely perfect wife or an absolutely perfect mother . We all find comfort in our imperfections sometimes , accepting the imperfection is the key.There are no set guidelines for personal relationships , there is a tailor made solution for every situation here. For professional growth the guidelines work up to an extent but for the role we take in our personal lives we have to improvise and fine tune so many things to suit the milieu .

I see many women who hog and sweat to fit in . To fit in the perfect mould of a DIL , the perfect mould of a wife and the perfect mould of a mother and the most fancy mould of them all , the mould of the successful modern woman . This is a dangerous trend i am sorry . Juggling between professional and personal life , trying to fit in the perfect mould of a modern woman is not what should be aimed for . The sad thing is , the woman takes all the responsibilities trying to prove she is capable , intelligent and resourceful ...in the meantime , the husband and the family takes this for granted . I have seen this happening , in the initial years of my own marriage and many other women i know. While it is okay for a time being as you cannot start a life with all the calculations already done , and because most of us are so conditioned for the roles we take and how we execute them , it will be better if we judge the situation well before it goes out of control .

Being relaxed about the not so perfect life should be okay , rather welcome , as it provides scope for improvement , for growth . Juggling to fit in all the roles only results in a constant juggling and dissatisfaction leading to frustration....where is the time to enjoy life , can we think about letting our hair down and enjoy life ..... life as it comes, with a few dreams and plans thrown in for good measure.

The commercial ads portray an interesting picture of a modern woman . A slim , fair woman who heads a team in the office , comes home to serve instant noodles or ready to make soups to the kids , cooks a full course dinner , packs yummy tiffin boxes in the morning with assorted breakfast items for everybody in the family .... and turns up a spotless tan protected face framed with lustrous conditioned hair. And yes , she shops smartly too and goes to gym ...she has to 'look' perfect....Thankfully , many modern women are not the stereotypes , but the picture is glum when you see the reality of a middle class modern woman , more so if she is working.

Working for a woman is supposed to give her freedom and most of the times we witness , the woman gets a degree of freedom . More and more women are free even if they are not working .The freedom brings new responsibilities too. Responsibilities of choosing the roles we take up and doing justice with them , finding comfort in life at the same time....being comfortable in our own skin i mean. Being comfortable in our own skin is becoming a rare phenomenon these days i feel , most of us are trying to fit in something we have just a vague idea about. More so , the freedom doesn't only mean to chose our conveniences , freedom is to be able to throw away some of the mental blocks of our own . Like most women take pride in a spic and span home and if they do not get a good support system they feel sorry for themselves .

I dream of the day when all women would be proud of being a woman , will celebrate womanhood and will not compare themselves with the other sex . All women , and not a fortunate few .

I want to add that women are better equipped for management and coordination , armed with a brain whose chords are rightly placed ...err...better coordinated ( both the cerebral hemispheres are coordinated with more connective tissue actually ) , so they are clearly the superior sex if you don't count the muscle power ...and this fact is not open for debate :) ...not again.... i do not want another battle of sexes .

I am tagging three of my blogger friends who are passionate writers and they feel much on this topic ...

Gauri Gharpure


  1. Ha ha! They are and I am proud to be one ;)
    All the best :)

  2. hmmmmmmmmm now what do i say to that :)


  3. :) Bikramjit...I would love to have your opinion here.

  4. Awesome post... I agree with you that we should give up the futile pursuit of perfection...lets not get into the trap of having to "PROVE OURSELVES" ...lets just enjoy being a woman in all her personas.
    Thanks for the tag :)

  5. I loved all the highlighted parts. I agree nobody needs to fit in pre-decided molds because each one of us is unique, and trying to perfectly fit in a standardised role can be very limiting and frustrating.

    You have said,
    "I felt that grooming towards financial independence is given priority while bringing up the girls ( a very welcome change for sure) and emotional well being and other life skills are given a miss."

    True. Financial independence and emotional well being and other life skills could and should go together no doubt, for men and for women.

  6. "I see many women who hog and sweat to fit in . To fit in the perfect mould of a DIL , the perfect mould of a wife and the perfect mould of a mother and the most fancy mould of them all , the mould of the successful modern woman .".........I just love this portion.........actually we dont need to...Bravo.Sangeeta

  7. Yes, we could all do with emotional and financial balance, and also get in touch with what we want out of life rather than fitting into preconceived roles.