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Benefits of Being a Woman

This one’s for you, Srihari…..(you have no idea about the amount of hunting I did for this….that too in work hours!! Am so not getting promoted!!!  😀  )

Anyhow, here goes :-

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Benefits of Being a Woman

 

– We got off the Titanic first.

– We get to flirt with IT support guys (who always return our calls, and are nice to us when we blow up our computers).

– Our boyfriend’s clothes make us look elfin & gorgeous. Guys look like complete idiots in ours.

– We can be groupies. Male groupies are stalkers.

– We can cry and get off speeding fines.

– We can scare male bosses with mysterious gynecological disorder excuses.

– Taxis stop for us.

– Men die earlier, so we get to cash in on the life insurance.

– We don’t look like a frog in a blender when dancing.

– Free drinks, free dinners, free movies….you get the drift.

– We can hug our friends without wondering if they’re gay.

– We can hug our friends without wondering if WE’RE gay.

– If we’re not making enough money we can blame the glass ceiling.

– We don’t have to fart to amuse ourselves.

– We can congratulate our teammate without ever touching her butt.

– If we have a zit, we know how to conceal it.

– We never have to reach down every so often to make sure our privates are still there.

– If we’re dumb, some people will find it cute.

– We have the ability to dress ourselves…AND our Men.

– We can talk to people of the opposite sex without having to picture them naked.

– There are times when chocolate really solves all our problems.

– We’ll never regret piercing our ears.

– We can fully assess a person just by looking at their shoes.

– We know which glass was ours by the lipstick mark.

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As for the one on Indian men, well, am working on it 😀 .

Edited to add :- Do check out Srihari’s replies in the comments section 🙂

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Is it OK for Men to prefer Working Wives ?

Or stay-at-home-wives/mothers? And why?

My FIL preferred a working women for a wife. The BF prefers the same. The BIL too has asked MIL to look for a working girl for him. Does it speak ill of these men that they prefer their wives to be independent women. I have heard sly remarks from people, that men who let their wives work are “incompetent to provide for them themselves”.Some even go to the lengths of saying that such men “live off their wives”. These statements are not only baseless, they come under the category of being “RUBBISH”.With a capital ‘R’.

I believe, such statements are made by jealous people. Sometimes, by women who rue the fact they are dependent on others for their daily survival. And sometimes by men, who struggle to make ends meet, where as their counterparts live in a comfortable style, owning to double income.

To work , or not, should be a woman’s own choice. Not one dumped on her due to family or society. There are many households where people would rather suffer than send their daughters/DILs for work .Irrespective of how educated or talented the girls are. I’m personally aware of such families. Well-to-do-families give the excuse that “there is no need to work, since there is no shortage of money”.

For me, work is not only a means to earn money. It is an opportunity to put my education to some use. Or, as my good faculty from college, BM used to say, “A chance to use the grey cells…..else they would die and leave one with Alzheimer’s!!” I like to work, to put in ‘x’ number of hours per day for an activity other than family life.It does not mean I ignore my duties as a DIL/wife/mother. It just means, I have to put in extra effort to encompass all these roles. Sometimes I score low, on all fronts…..but there are times when it all seems worth it.

My views stem from watching my mother waste her education. She is a highly qualified person with 5 degrees to her name and many diplomas. She would have been a Principal of a school by now, or an eminent lecturer in any prestigious college. Yet, she gave it all up for her husband and kids. Dad was in the Army. It wasnt possible for mom to stick to a particular school/college. Plus, we were 4 brats…never upto any good. Sometime way back (when I wasnt even in school, I remember , she was school teacher in one of those Army schools in Delhi). Once we got transferred to Bangalore, she gave up her career completely. I know she gave us all her time and effort. She pampered my father and his children. She was the perfect hostess in any party. She was the one to whom other women came for guidance. And yet, she lost her identity. She lost her ‘Self’ (if you know what I mean).

I regret that now. Terribly.

I have no idea how we would have turned out if she wasn’t around all the time. I do feel, however, that we wouldn’t have done so badly. But it would mean undermining the sacrifices of my mom. And I don’t want to do that.

I have a nice cushy job. It doesn’t pay well, but I’m doing good work and that matters. I may not continue in this line of work for long though. I’ll look out for different options, do something which wouldn’t require me to put in close to 12 hours everyday (including the travel time )! Life is pretty hectic right now. And I’m not able to spend as much time with the kids as I would have liked.

In all this time, the BF has never once asked me to quit or change jobs. He has been accomodating, adjusting his timings to suit my preferences. Like the time when the twins’ nanny was on leave and I had an important project release coming up. So I couldn’t take a leave. The BF suggested that I go to office early and come back by mid afternoon. After I come back, he would go to his office. Point of the matter is that the BF didn’t ask me to apply for leave or make excuses for my absence. He simply adjusted his schedule so that I could keep up with my project release. He so totally understands my need to do what I’m doing. Isn’t that great?

I mean, I take this behavior for granted. I wouldn’t have accepted anything else. But I know a lot many women who consider it a luxury to have a husband who understands their professional commitments. Women, who have to struggle real hard NOT to give up their jobs due to pressure from their own hubbies. Women, who face flak everyday, for not being at home for family , children.

It’s almost as if, having a homely wife is the secret desire of EVERY Indian male. I hear many guys saying that they are perfectly fine with their wives giving up jobs and staying at home.  They declare proudly that their wives are now home-makers, making us working women feel like traitors of our homestead !! While I’m totally against men forcing women to work, I do rue the fact that I’ve never heard a guy feeling disappointed that his wife had to leave her job.

I guess I’m just rambling on and am not able to come to any definite conclusion. I’m really not sure on what note on end this post 😦 .

But seriously, should women be dependent on men for their bread and butter forever? Is there any harm if they earn to bring in some Jam on the side?

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Suffering in silence

 

Before you jump to any conclusions on the subject of this post, let me reassure you that it is not related to any social issue.

The title comes from my own silent suffering…….in the beauty parlour.

(Ok now, please stop throwing those pillows at me!!  STOP!! Am serious!!)

There’s this parlour I visit once in a while (like once in, MONTHS!). It’s  a small place, very private and owned by a very sweet lady. And each time I go there, by some quirk of fate, I get attended by this one woman…..the one who gives me the shivers!! She is efficient, no doubt, but seriously lacking bed-side manners (or is it chair-side? whatever!). She is sullen, sad, melancholy and monotonous. Yes. Thats her entire personality described there. I have nothing against her, mind you. It’s just that she has this habit of doing the unexpected. Like, for example, asking unexpected questions at the wrong time!

This time, however, she was in no mood to talk (YAY!!) and preferred playing some music instead. I was upstairs in the massage room, undergoing a facial , when suddenly, there came to my ears, a sound as bone chilling as ice. A shrill, raspy voice yelled “Saaajan, Saaajan….” even as my hair stood on their ends (I later found out that it was some song from an Aishwarya Rai movie, title I don’t remember, which had Arjun Rampal in the lead).

At the risk of cracking the face pack, I asked my attendant to turn down the volume, or better, turn it off.

Mujhe pasand hai“, she replied sullenly. And carried on with her work on another customer.

So I had no choice, but to listen to that gut-twisting song for what seemed like ages.

When it came to an end, I sighed in relief. Over. Finally.

Little did I know what was in store for me next.

There started this song, which seemed like Sonu Nigam had lost it completely and was warbling for all his worth. Turned out to be a song from the movie “Mela”. Yup, and you must’ve guessed the song by now. I had never heard the whole song before and I sincerely had NO IDEA that it goes on for , like AGES.

So after all the melas of the Mohabbat, Ashiqs, Dils, Jawani,Duniya, society, kutta, billi et all had gone by, did the song end.

By then, I was a whimpering mass of jelly, scarred for life, unable to even utter a single coherent word.  I finally understood, for once, what made Dominique Francon tick. What it means to suffer silently , specially, when the suffering is self-inflicted (I wanted to visit the parlour, didn’t I?!!)

What were the song-writers thinking?? Was this song supposed to be the next National Anthem?? Why make it so long?? Why have all the top singers in the industry chip in with a few lines, making me wonder at what all money can make a man do!!

Kitna achcha gana hai na?”, asked the attendant of the other lady.

“”Haan, bahut hit gaana hai“, agreed the lady.

“”Phir se lagati hoon“, cooed the attendant.

NAHHHIIIIINNNN“, said I, only to myself.

And for the second time in that parlour, I wished that the earth split and swallow me whole. I didn’t want to live through another run of that song.

But I didn’t have a choice.

Garble-gargle, garble-gargle“, went Sonu Nigam.

I had no option but to grit my teeth and settle down for another round of torture (and they say, Chinese excel at this activity!! Huh, little do they know!)

Luckily, the face pack dried halfway through the song. I practically helped the attendant get the remnants out of my face. Didn’t even let her wipe a wet sponge across it. “I’ll go home and wash”, I managed to utter. She nodded carelessly, too engrossed in her song to bother about me.

Have you heard the phrase about fleeing as if a dog was at your ankles, well, that was me, sans the dog.

I have personally vowed never to go there again.

But I know I will.

Just to see how much I can actually bear.

Dominique, you aren’t the only one.

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My entry for Indusladies

I’ve been T-A-G-G-E-D.

Yup. Finally!! (*Fist pumping the air!! *  😀 )

G was kind enough to tag me for the Indusladies International Women’s Day contest.


Since this is my FIRST tag, I’m obviously over-excited and am right now hyper ventilating on the topic for my post. We have a choice of 10 subjects relevant to today’s women and am at a TOTAL LOSS as to which should be my favoured one.

You see, I have strong and serious views on each and every topic listed. They all concern me at various levels.

Loads of people have entered some really thought-provoking posts (you can check out their links in the comments section of the Indusladies’ post for the contest) and I feel that what I have to say is very meagre, very trivial, compared to them.

Anyhow, putting on my “Feminist Cap” ,I selected “Workplace inequality” for my post. But then, discarded the cap as well as the topic since I personally haven’t experienced inequality in enough measure to warrant an 800 word post.

Then I thought of “Financial Freedom”, but then, G made a much better job of it and I had to discard that post too (btw, I had got through 790 words of it!! Will post it some other time).

And now, I have decided on something more personal, more closer to each woman than anything else in this world.

Ladies and gentlemen, here goes my entry (*drumroll……..*)

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Hygiene & Healthcare

A big Hello to all women reading this post. I want your honest answers to some questions that I have.  These are extremely personal and some might not apply to you, but anyhow, please tell me, 

– How many of you, as girls, have had regular visits to the gynaec after your first period?

– How many of you report missing periods to your gynaec/mothers/sisters?

– How many of you drink milk or take calcium supplements everyday?

– How many of you eat a healthy breakfast every morning?

– How many of you are aware of PCOS, Cervical cancer, menopause?

– How many of you insist on your partner taking a wash before and after intercourse?

– How many of you are aware of the consequences of Cesarean section ?

– How many of you know how to perform a Self-Breast examination?

– How many of you are aware of the different contraceptives available and their side-effects?

– How many of you are aware of the hormones that classify you a ‘Woman’ ?

– How many of you have a normal BMI? How many know what a BMI is??

– How many of you take out time to exercise regularly?

– How many of you are aware of each and every mark, curve and plain of your body?

Of the women reading this, I know a majority will have an answer to the above mentioned queries. But if I had to make a list of women who are absolutely unaware of the above, I would need a counting device.

I don’t mean the uneducated women who work as maids in our houses. I talk of well educated women, working women, mothers, wives and many others who have never even heard of half the points mentioned.

Reason, I guess, is part ignorance, and part negligence. The ignorance stems from lack of interest. The negligence, from the total disregard towards one’s own body. Like the time when we were young girls, newly undergoing the trauma of facing the dreaded periods. Weren’t missed periods like a boon? Didn’t we feel secretly relieved of not going through the burden for a change? Did we ever stop to wonder that it could be a sign of possible complications later?

We didn’t.

Just like many grown up women like me rush to work every morning, not bothering to have a proper breakfast or drink a glass of milk. We have heard of cases of osteoporosis. We dread it. Yet, we do NOTHING to prevent it.

Many young and old women suffer from various infections of the uterus. Ranging from Urinary Tract infection to Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Only when the discomfort becomes too much to bear, we bother to visit a gynaec and get the situation assessed.

What do we wait for?? Would we delay so much if any other loved one suffered any illness?? Then why delay for oneself?

Why the sense of shame related to our own body?? Why do we take our system for granted?

For many women, the concept of hygiene is limited to visits to the parlour. A facial or pedicure/manicure , though feel good, do not give you good health, or hygiene. They just give you a sense of momentary relaxation. Threading eyebrows comes nowhere close to being hygienic, unless your brows threaten to become hosts to lice. Then, maybe 🙂 .

Jokes apart, the truth is, we place ourselves way down in the list of priorities. For us, any treatment can wait. NOTHING is severe enough to warrant immediate attention and action!!

Sad, isn’t it?

So we see our mothers and grandmothers suffering from cervical cancer, breast cancer, osteoporosis, menopause and many other ailments and we keep wondering, what if, they had taken care of themselves! What if they had addressed the issue earlier? What if …?

And then, we ourselves do the same thing all over again.

We ignore our health while taking care of family.

We ignore our health because we are too busy handling jobs and motherhood.

We ignore our hygiene because we don’t want our partners to feel bad.

We ignore ourselves because we are too embarrassed to face a doctor (What about the time when you are lying bare on an operation table at the time of delivery?? But then, our thoughts are more for the baby than for ourselves, so the shame dissolves into nothingness!! Yet again, proof that others take priority over ourselves).

Isn’t it time we re-arranged our priorities and made some time for ourselves? Our good health will guarantee that our families stay healthy too. Our hygiene will guarantee that we and our partners are infection free. Isn’t that worth the effort?

We may not be a Cleopatra or a Garbo, but we are and will be the most beautiful woman in our children’s eye. The most seductive , in our partner’s.

Isn’t it time we kept up that image?

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I pass on this tag to Srividya, Sheets and Shweta.

Sorry for the delay guys. Do take this up if you have the time 🙂

The rules and conditions are available here.

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A Common Scold

Bet you thought I made a typo there, didn’t ya? 🙂

Anyhow, I came across this term for the first time while reading the book “Why Men Lie and Women Cry” by Allan & Barbara Pease.

And here is what I found out :-

A common scold is a woman who is accused of offending her husband by being a ‘nag’.

Yeah, you heard that right. It was a punishable offence to be a nag in the late 19th century.

So any woman who was opinionated, vocal and feminist, was branded a common scold and was punished.

How??

By dunking her repeatedly in a river or lake.

Funny??

Not really. If you go by the methods implemented for this punishment.

The "ducking chair"

The woman in question was strapped to a chair and the chair was then lowered into a river or pond till submerged. The duration of being submerged depended on the severity of the allegation. Apparently, witches and prostitutes were submerged for longer periods than regular housewives. The punishment could last from a few hours to the whole day.

And if the woman still continued to be a common scold, she was paraded in the town/village, with a metal mask (called “the branks” )on her face, with a rod inside it which was forced into the culprit’s mouth to hold the tongue down.

Whew!!

All this for just reminding the man-of-the-house to take out the trash!!!

Coming to the present, I nag the BF ALL the time.  Right from the time he gets up to the time he goes to sleep. I just don’t nag him about picking up his wet-towel-on-the-bed routine, I bicker about his diet, lack of exercise, extra working hours, etc, etc.

Believe me, If I was in the 19th century, by now,  I would’ve been dunked to death.

Not funny at all 😦

On second thoughts, I really shouldn’t have written this post.

What if the BF reads it?!!

SHUDDER!!!!

Naah, I kid. This time 🙂

Edited to add :

You can read up more on the common scold and dunking chair here .

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…I MUST add this video.

I request all you readers to take out time to go through this. Completely.

I was spellbound by this lady’s courage. Her strength of conviction and beliefs. The amount of effort and patience required to do what she has done, is commendable.

In a small way, I feel privileged to hear her. It humbles me. Because I know, that whatever I do in life, I’ll never come close to achieving what she has. I don’t know what it takes to fight against society. Against family .To stand up for what you believe in. To NOT let others suffer the way you did!!

Sunitha Krishnan, I rue the fact that in today’s world, more coverage is given to the scheming inhabitants of BiggBoss’s house than the good work you do. Whereas, the world deserves to know that people like you exist. People in India need to know, that there are lifesavers like you in our midst.

So brave. So giving. So nurturing.

To read up more on her struggle, please go through this interview of her’s.

Its up to a victim to decide whether he/she is a victim or not.

Am glad to know that Sunitha decided she didn’t want to be a victim 🙂

You have made a big difference to me Sunitha. I’m not the same momofrs I was. And I’m glad of this change you have brought in me.

I may not able able to do what you do. But I’ll definitely make an effort to support your cause. With whatever means I can. I will.

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There is this lady security guard at the place where I work. She generally takes down the list of women employees in the premises and the time at which they leave office.

Usually, while leaving the building and walking towards the company bus, we get chit-chatting…on nothing in particular.

Over a period of last few months, I have found out a few personal details about her :-

1) She is not much older than me.

2) She has two daughters, one in the 1st grade and the other in nursery.

3) She has a husband who works for the same security firm.

Also, the not-much-emphasised-but-implied part of our conversation revealed that her husband was of no good. Though he was working in the firm before her, he was not sincere to his job and hence missed his promotion many times. The lady now earns twice her husband’s salary (good for her).

She reports to work at 2:30 in the afternoon and leaves by 10:30. After reaching home, she has to feed the kids and get them to sleep. Then wrap up the pending tasks for the next day before wrapping up.

One by one she revealed the decisions she had to make for herself :-

1) She underwent a tubectomy because she didn’t want any more kids. She is content with her two daughters and wants to give them good education. she does not crave having ‘boys’. And if her husband has any issues, there is little he can do about it now!

2) She does her complete housework and packs the kids off to school before sitting down on her sewing machine to stitch clothes on order. Reason being she needs the extra money to support the expensive fees of English medium schools (to which she sends her kids).

3) She prefers working weekends because she gets extra income for those days. Secondly, she feels her husband should handle more responsibility of the kids.

All this from a diminutive , petite woman , who barely looks strong enough to lift one kid!! She has made a strong independent life for herself. Even if at any point of time her husband dumps her, she wouldn’t be at any loss. It appears to be the other way round. He is dependent on her!!

There are times when I wonder at the inner strength of this woman. How does one hold such confidence, such determination, for doing well not just for herself, but for her family too. The strength to take over the reins, to steer her family in the right direction. To not be a whimpering rag at the mercy of her husband.

Its amazing.Seriously.

Somehow, I doubt I’d have the strength of conviction to hold my own…if I were ever to step into her shoes. Life has been pretty cosy and comfortable till date (mA).

But yes, I would definitely pray to God to make all women strong , not only in body, but also in mind. Its the mind that controls us and our decisions in life  🙂

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