(S)wags the word…This is a world where anyone can put in a word (more would be welcome, funny would be appreciated).

We(e) women!!!

Caught an episode of Bhaskar Bharti on Sony. The one in which “Bharti” talks about the plight of women in India. It was good.

While the serial itself is a copy of Hollywood & an “inspired” Bollywood movie, at least its a step forward from the boring saas-bahu-jethani sagas. The men in the ‘K serials’ are basically ‘katputlis’ (puppets), maneouvored by their mothers, lovers, wife & sisters. Wish life was that easy!!!

The truth is no matter her education, race, religion or location, a woman has to compromise on most things…The most important reason is perhaps that she bears children. She is responsible for rearing them into, well…, good people. She has to give up on career, even hobbies, actually put her life on hold to look after her children. If not, who will teach the child values, manners, ethics, traditions. No amount of money can replace a mother. Motherhood is the essence of being a woman. It even made me a better cook. 🙂

Coming back to Bhaskar Bharti, “Bharti” says dont treat us like devis (idols, goddess), just treat us like humans. How appropriate!!! So many women in India are treated like cattle, or possesions, even objects. We aren’t asked what we can do? We are asked what we can do for the man? We aren’t judged by our character, always by our figures. So many women in India (where women are worshipped as devis) go through pain on a daily basis. Sometimes its a violent husband, or a neglectful child, a “sick” relative or a lecherous boss.

In a crowded city like Mumbai (considered among the safest city in India; because of its crowds, not law), a woman has to fight every single day against lechers, molesters and eve teasers. These days, even an infant isn’t safe from psychos.

Earlier, we had some sense of respect, of family name, of “izzat”. Marriages were arranged on the basis of family reputation (and ofcourse wealth). Now, even love marriages fail. Reason, we never know what the other person really is. Of course, this is true for both sexes; but where the injured party is a woman, she suffers the most.

Recently got back in touch with a friend who had had a love marriage, but went through a divorce. Happily remarried now, she says “I have become very depressed. No matter how much I try, I am unable to wipe out the pain”. And she faces the constant pressure of being a ‘divorcee’.

And heaven help you, if you don’t have a child. Every Tom, Dick, Harry, Sally and their aunts make it their business to point out why you should have a child, and how its the right time etc. Factors like stress, career are considered excuses.

We Indian girls, tend to get married “into the family” versus “to a guy”. I have heard countless tales of endless taunts, criticisms & negativity from in-laws. Always treated as the outsider. Why???

As a kid, when I lost my mother, I didn’t really realise my loss. Somehow I had the impression that I will get motherly love from any number of women (courtesy Bollywood movies glorifying “Maa ka laad”). I had a bad emotional crash, when I realised no woman, absolutely no one had a heart big enough to treat me as a daughter. Not one!!! How to then expect being treated well as a daughter-in-law? And this is a universal experience!!!

Where have we lost the plot? More importantly, what can we do about this?

For one thing, unless we inject a massive dose of TLC, we as a species, are doomed. We need to get our balance right. Sons and daughters, men and women have to be treated the same and well. The onus lies on mothers. To teach our sons to respect women, and to teach our daughters self-confidence and self-reliance.

Teachers need to think of themselves as character-builders, not job holders. If each teacher teaches with genuine passion, the erst-while noble profession will regain its lost glory.

Lets give our and others’ children our heart, our time and attention. Not just our money!!!

Maybe then, our next generation will get it right!!!


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