I’m educated, working, independent & a Woman in an Indian Society, and, I’m a Paradox!
Why? You ask?
Well, let me break it up for you; will definitely make it much simpler till you reach the last line of my chunter.
Having a childhood in a middle-class family, the kind where only Fathers work & Moms do the thankless & unpaid job of taking care of home and kids; Parents were very serious ( read hyper) about my education (& my siblings’ too). You know, like deviating from the moral of few Amir Khan Movies… My Parents’ motto too was “Life’s a race, if you don’t run fast; you’ll be like a Broken Andaa”
Well, who wants to be a mere broken egg in the race of high-flying birds?
So, Parents expected me to be a Perfect Child—-studious, well-behaved, culturally sound- dancing, singing, painting, dramatics- you name it & it needed to be done!
In short, I became the “Sharma ji ki Beti” who garnered all the hatred from the neighbourhood children as their parents had made their lives miserable with comparisons of all sorts.
Lesson learnt no.1 # Study hard- you’ll get good marks
Work hard- you’ll get a good job
Toil hard-directly proportional to respect in the society.
Well, I’m so proud of my Parents for at least they didn’t discriminate their Girl Child from their son in terms of any facilities or help to their level best. Full credit goes to them for letting me be independent and strong today.
Finally, studies over, Got the “Tag”…Bravo! That’s an achievement! Clap Clap! But, is it, really?
In my head, it was like— I’m an educated woman, I’m able to take a desirable job, my education won’t go to waste, I’m independent, I can take my own decisions, I can make my own judgments, I can fly high—–! In my head, I repeat…
Now, Time for some tough love, some Reality Check.
In an Indian Society, being educated secretly means you’ll get the Priviledge (yes, that’s a priviledge) of choosing from a wide variety of Guys for your future Life Partner.
The Prospective Groom should have a stable job, a strong family backbone ( let the guy be spineless, who cares?) & the most important criteria? The guy should be of the same Religion, same Caste, same Community, having the same or a bit higher Social Status, then comes the other unimportant attributes like Looks, Character, Behaviour etc. etc.
Love? Compatibility? Respect? Trust? Understanding? His attitude towards you?
These are some trivial, inconsequential criteria which are expected to arise in your Partner magically & immediately after you take the vow to spend your life with him Forever!!
Very few people in our society get the priviledge of getting married to whomever they want without any kind of melodrama & with full support from parents.
Lesson learnt no.2 # The Guy arranged by your Parents for your “Arranged Marriage” with him is always Mr. Perfect, plenty of imperfections in your “Love-Marriage” -wala guy (let him pass all the criteria put by the society and You, with flying colours)… End Of Story.
Another Extraordinary thing that my Ordinary mind doesn’t understand at all is— what is this Gender discrimination at every single aspect?
The extreme limit being— Mechanical Engineering is for Guys. Computer Science is for Girls.
I mean, seriously?
Kis Kitaab Me Likha Hai Bhai? (Where if it has been written)
All women who are pursuing their careers in so-called Male dominated spheres— We all are pretty Normal, right?
But, If one compares a woman with a man for climbing a monkey-ladder faster than him or lifting a heavy load longer than him, it is totally absurd.
Can a Man give birth to babies?
Got the comparison? This is how the Almighty has made us.
(NO, No, No…this is not a Feminism-oozing article, I promise! Because I believe in Man-Woman Equality Not Superiority of one above the other. I don’t believe in Women’s Day. Treat women with respect everyday and that would suffice, Trust Me!)
Women needn’t learn much about Field-work & should concentrate on office work or documentation jobs only. Why? Because it is taken for granted that a Woman will be less productive than a Man as she is physically less strong. Simple!
Lesson Learnt no. 3 # You’ll be judged & even taunted because you draw the same salary as your male colleagues but you don’t contribute that much to your Workplace ( it doesn’t matter whether or not you were even considered for doing the job! )
Being a Woman, you’ll have to try to prove your capability repeatedly whereas that respect is inherently garnered by your male colleague. Doubts arise on your knowledge, sincerity, skills as well. Your single mistake can be generalized as a whole community’s blunder, For example, Women are bad surgeons, women are bad drivers etc. etc. And the matter gets even worse if you take stand for yourself, instead of just listening and ignoring some indigestible remarks. Women should know their Boundaries! Isn’t it?
I remember once when I had just started my career, my then-Boss smirked at me one fine day, saying— “What is that bright coloured patch on your fingers?” pointing out to my freshly manicured nails with a sea-green nailpolish on them. “Does it suit you as an Engineer?” He completed his sentence.
Well, that made me think— ‘Yes, I’m an engineer, but that doesn’t make me any less Woman, Does it?’
Lesson Learnt no.4 # You are expected to look smart & presentable with a sound knowledge of How to carry Yourself but bright coloured nail polish, long nails or a good hairstyle for that matter? Naah…ain’t happening.
As a married woman, I have to manage both my home as well as office duties too. Because I have the “TAG”, I can’t really depend on my husband for every small issues starting from going to Bank, calling the Plumber, getting the LPG and many more. Of course, the major ones are always sorted out after a long discussion with Better-half.
But if getting a supportive Husband is Gold, getting supportive In-laws is Platinum. (Lucky to get great In-laws, Touchwood). Because, in an Indian Society, if your in-laws are supportive, half of your life is sorted!
But the Society? It surpasses the Supreme Court too in terms of judging you.
“ You don’t look Married much!” ( maybe for looking younger than I actually am; not complaining of that though)
“ You are not a Good Cook or you don’t cook for your husband everyday!”
“You go out on a Trip or party with your Friends and not your husband!” ( BAD WIFE)
“You are so Opinionated!” (read Annoying)
to more personal stuff life—–
“You don’t want to have kids within 3 years of your married life!” (OMG)
And You know what’s interesting? It doesn’t matter even if your Husband or your In-laws don’t have a Problem with all the above listed out examples. People Do Have. Society Does Have. And it is Our Duty to give Peace to all the inquisitive minds by answering them. Isn’t It?
You have to pay a heavy price for getting the “TAG”, trust me. Doesn’t matter whether you are going through hormonal changes or mental dilemma, tensions, frustrations or personal problems, You don’t have the liberty to break down and that cannot be an Excuse for a wrong data entered in that Excel Sheet or a mistake done in your Reports. You can’t escape your Boss’s Dirty Looks!!! #TRUESTORY
Final Lesson Learnt # This is the Societal Norm. You have to bear as well as endure it. “NO ESCAPE”.
Hence, the Conclusion remains— I’m educated, working, Independent Woman.
I can pay my own Bills (COOL, isn’t it?)
I can support my family financially.
I m not dependent on my husband for every trivial issue.
I do understand the work stress of my Partner & can help him too mentally as well as financially.
I have my own identity.
I can take my own decisions.
& Yeah, I can say, I am pretty Proud of it.
So, I don’t have disadvantages, I just have some challenges to overcome.
I’m educated, working, Independent & a Woman in an Indian Society, and, I’m a Paradox!
Please Share your valuable views and share if you liked the content