Click here for shortcuts to regional language blogs and city-specific events.
This Women’s day I want to dedicate the “Wowman”ism in me to the men in my life. Almost 4 decades earlier, this was a scene in a hospital bed. “She will grow up to be a fine orator. She will travel the world. She is going to be famous” She will be an excellent leader and rule her pack”. A 40 odd year old man (Mamaji) was holding her 2 day old “Bhanji’s” hand and speculating all this. Thus started the journey of a girl who by virtue of what she is today attributes a lot of it to the men in her life. She was not traditionally beautiful, had complexion on the “darker” side and was not typically “marriage material”. The women in the household (of course excluding her mom) felt that her dad should start saving up enough money to cough up her dowry. On the contrary I want to tell you all what her DAD thought. He thought that will he be able to earn enough to put his daughter in a convent school? Will he be able to give her the best education? Can he save up some more so that he can teach her some extracurricular activities as well? Yes, it’s true that her mother also provided rock solid support and was a guiding angel but her Dad was her shining star. She moved on through life. Into her teens and she was flocked by friends, both girls and boys. Fashion, movies and boys were the pivotal areas of discussion with her gal pals. But, there is a BIG BUT. She, was overwhelmed by the selfless love of friendship demonstrated by her friends who were boys. She learnt to appreciate the adrenaline rush associated with the different sports. She became an expert in world politics. She discovered what football clubs rivalry is all about. She discovered “sportsmanship”. She started valuing fearlessness and courage. She realized the need for speed. With no intention of demeaning her gal pals who still are her soul sisters and source of sustenance, she can still proudly proclaim that “Yes, this is what I learnt from my gang of guys”. Days passed and she fell in love with her own classmate. That’s when she realized her true potential. She was essentially a happy go lucky girl who always knew that she will manage to do well, but never realized what actually lay within her. It is through his boyfriend’s inspiration that the girl went on to do her engineering and eventually MBA. In that long and strenuous journey, never for once did he leave her side or forget to inspire. Diligence, commitment and sincerity is what she learnt from him and respects till today. She moved on to college. College was fun, college was about liberation. Every one of her guy friend, who are her besties even today taught her worldly lessons. She learnt that freedom is good but exploiting freedom is NOT. She understood that to rule the roost at home, what are the essential feminine qualities each guy@21st century looks for. They prepared her well for the next stage of life. Some of them even became the brothers which she never had. The all glorified “Male ego” which she had read about in books were opened up before her by her male friends; she learnt to distinguish between the good and the bad. Though, this has nothing to do with guys in particular, but in her life it has been essentially her guy friends and brothers who made her explore the world of books, music and movies. Books continue to be her source of wisdom even today. She also got rid of the word ‘tension” and learnt to take the “chill pill” with her band of boys.
At home too, the same privilege was extended to her by close male relations. Her brother thought that her sisters are the best in the world and can scale mountains. All tantrums tolerated, her brother was her guardian angel. Her uncle was her fashion guide. Fashionista as she was since childhood, it was her uncle who continuously gave her grooming tips and fulfilled her constant need of fashion “pangs”. Being “beautiful” inside out is what he learnt from them. Seventeen years into marriage and her father in law is her SOS person in distress. Without having a single working woman in his family for generations, her father in law takes great pride to announce her daughter in law’s achievements. Humility, perseverance, hard work is what she learnt from him.
Finally, there is one place where the lady spends most of her hours today ;it is a male dominated arena - her work place and it is here that she got and gets her daily shots of “male instincts” if I may be permitted to say so. She has got the best boss in the world. It’s from him, she learnt that knowledge, courage and attitude is what it takes to be a winner; Gender is something to be mentioned only in forms and passports and has no role to play when it comes to taking up challenging roles and responsibilities. While sharing a drink after a tiring day, it’s her male colleagues who helps her loosen up. No typecasting, but yes, we women tend to get overburdened by family issues and it’s a constant struggle to balance work at home and office. It’s only when she gets the other sex’s view point and that too presented in the most humorous manner is what helps her take things in stride when she goes back home. Surprisingly, she even gets fashion tips and suggestions from male corners which more often than not turns out to be quite interesting as it is thought “differently”. Yes, these friends that she has made are now irreplaceable in her life. Their wisecracks and self-deprecating humorous jabs is what she looks forward to everyday to keep her days bright and cheerful. Yes, the lady in discussion is none other than me, myself. Undoubtedly, it is true that we women are strong from within and can take on the world singlehandedly if required. Our moms, aunts and girlfriends are our super powers. There is no dearth of courage and confidence in us. But, what we fail to remember that we can feel empowered only when our “not so fair sex” gives us the love, respect, recognition that we so deserve. I feel privileged that I have so many of them like that in my life. I am honored that my life support system at home has been my greatest motivator and I so wish that my daughter also shares the same experience. So, on this Women’s day let’s shout out and cheer the men in our life who makes this journey called life so much enjoyable, happening and full of fun.