Friday, March 09, 2007

Women's day?

I am sure yesterday would have added immensely to the mobile traffic due to the much publicised women's day celebrations and the hype created by the media on the subject.

But then on such days, there are always these questioning articles or reports in the media which blame the government, men and almost everyone for those women who are still bullied by their husbands and in-laws, who are still below the poverty line, who are unwillingly forced to sell their bodies to provide for their children and for whom the glass ceiling is opaque.

On this day, eminent people pour in millions on suggestions on how to improve conditions for the trampled upon women and self-help sites come up with an equal number articles professing on how women can break even an opaque ceiling if only they were bold enough and how they can win over the world and the dominating men with the right shade of lipstick on their lips.

Come the next day and everything is forgotten. Everyone goes back to their comfortable lives where one hardly has the time to ponder on other people's problems. Everything is forgotten. But not for long. The next year, come women's day, maybe the same articles are dished out and made more attractive by adding some more heart-wrenching tales and self-help material to it. So, what's the point? Or is there a point at all? True, it’s a good day to salute all those successful women who have become larger-than-life figures in their own ways, but what about the not-so-lucky or not-so-surefooted women? I am sure they feel used and dread this so called Women's day.

Let me use the pretext of all the women's day hoopla to introduce to you one amazing lady I met roughly a month back. I took part in her Pranayama workshop in the Health Education Library for People in Mumbai. Her energy and exuberance and unlimited enthusiasm on her chosen subject, Yoga, amazed me. Meet her here.

Pranayama Workshop

I am a little jealous of her too. She seems to have chosen her own path and seems to like it and revel in it so much. Sometimes I wonder whether this brick would fit better in some other wall.


Shameem Akthar said...

hi priya
just leaving a thank you, for your nice words -- just sharing some thoughts below

yes, I feel comfortable finally, having chosen what I wanted. You know, I had been a journalist all my professional life and I had long bouncy wild hair -- I renounced both and oftentimes wondered, during certain soul-searching moments till last year, if either choice was right for me... I started teaching yoga while it was not in vogue so the question always arose whether I was being foolish by giving up the opportunity of interviewing Shah Rukh Khan and other celebs(and gaining some reflected glory from that) or teaching yoga to the man next door (and get mostly nothing, even financially, for my pains)

but this year I had a major fire at my home where the entire family escaped by the skin of our teeth and it was as if I got a nice hard slap and told, by something larger than me, that since we all have so little time that we cannot waste it being ambivalent about our choices -- it is said that Indian gurus are like the proverbial potter -- the clay has to be slapped around hard to get it into shape, even though the nature of the clay is to forever resist this:)
so I guess I needed that calamity (I lost everything I had bought with my meagre yoga teacher's saving -- tonnes of beloved books, CDs and everything else I had bought up to set up a yoga center) --- yet, I feel lucky in a strange way -- to have a sudden clarity drummed into me...

so, yes, I do feel I am amongst those few lucky ones who is settled in my choice -- and that it is very intuitive of you to have caught on to that sense of freedom I have gained ....cheers, shameem

Girl With Big Eyes said...

Hi Shameem,

Good to see your comment.

I have been engrossed in your blog last couple of weeks, so I did know about your fortunate or unfortunate fire incident, pics of you with your long bouncy hair etc.

It's a real honour to know you!

Hard to handle said...

Kudos to Shameem for having gone through so much and still being here to tell a tale with a never-say-die attitude. I am impressed. I think all this Women's Day business is over rated in India, esp. when female foeticide, rape and other horrendous crime against women take place time and again, day after day.

No doubt we, some of the more fortunate have been lucky enough to have recieved good education to the tune of being where we are today but for thousands of us, there may be millions of poor, uneducated, helpless females who need to celebrate this so called Women's Day more than me.

I am empathetic to the government's plans and schemes for helping a girl student, reservation for women and the like but until the mentality of the pseudo male superior complex subsides considerably, be it in the form of father, husband, son or brother, our country will not be able to uplift the standards of women by any measurable value.

I pray in the years to come, we'll see an increase of living standards of the common woman, better education, secure jobs and better lives. Then will I say the Indian woman has finally arrived.

Girl With Big Eyes said...

Whoa H2H! Have to say, "Well said!" :)

Let's hope we live to see things change for the better in our lifetime.

Hard to Handle said...

Touché to that! And its such a pleasant experience communicating in your blog, girl.