Sunday, February 8, 2015

Resonance (Journey from ‘OR’ to ‘AND’)

Aristotle and Buddha may have spoken about the Golden Mean but dont you think women have forever known and practised this noble philosophy?

The reason I speak about women as collective is because I have been part of the journey and my personal story would not stand out as special if I do not acknowledge the multitudes of women (and men) who have been part of this liberation.

Sure there is my close knit circle of family and friends who have helped me with my everyday challenges. But I also draw my strength from those who are outside this sphere of influence, as much as from within it. Their dedication has an impact on my life from across time and space.

For, do I not owe my education just as much to the great woman, Savitribai Phule, who bore insults, stones and cowdung being hurled on her self, as I do to my parents? Or how thankful should I be to the media that reaches out to people and makes them contemplate their predisposition  towards the modern woman?

The highpoints in my personal life only resonate with the strong people around me. The moments are interesting in their own way but they are also part of a conciousness that has evolved together.

It is said that a boy has a choice to remain a boy for as long as he wants, regardless of age or marital status, but a girl should be ready to turn into a woman overnight. This is always said in jest in India without understanding how deeply this inequity can leave one wounded.

Personally, I began to understand this very late in life as my parents hardly made a distinction. In fact, it was my brother who had a curfew hour during his teens where as I kept breaching this rule much to the chagrin of -- not my parents, but some of my neighbours. (I am sure some of you know it.)

My position to choose AND instead of OR came much later in life. When I got married young, moved into a joint family and had a child, all in a single year. Too much too soon. And lets face it, marriage and motherhood in the Indian context is a Herculean task. But I was not doing anyone a favour by taking care of my child or for that matter, my aged in-laws. Those who have worked their entire life for their children should not separate homes at such a ripe age, if it is within the limits of possiblity.

But I married young and the desire to grow as a person was conflicting with all the principles I had set in my mind. Perhaps the Golden Mean radar was searching for solutions at the back of my mind, the one that allowed me to find the work-life balance. And I listened to what I already knew, work is a component of life, not outside it, and it need not distance me from the family.  And thanks to the wonderful times we live in, I did find my golden mean; the technology genie brought my office to my home.

As I said, my story is almost every womans story, but it had its own tests and successes. But the fact that I could make a choice is a testimony to the changing times. We have grown as a civilisation so much in the last decade than perhaps any time in history.

There are events of violence that make it seem like this is more of rupture but we need to keep faith and strive for equality, for when has a revolution been silently fought? We will see in retrospection that all the discouraging noise was only the echoing of an epoch.

This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus“.

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