Thursday, March 8, 2012

Why a Women's day

Year after year my perspectives on this day seem to change, rather evolve nah!!! evoke thoughts unprecedented in the history of my self( complex statement muahahaha!!!).

What does this day signify to me? I am free and can write about this luxuriously, I can afford a cup of coffee at a cafe and read Arundhati Roy and debate on third wave of feminism. I can afford to spend time with my lady friends planning a girl's trip or shopping at cotton street to beat the heat. And I don't need a special lunch, a poetry session, a body check up at discounted rates to remind me it's my day. I rule my world because I dare to think and act differently and had the luxury to do so. So what does this day mean to me? How does it change my life? I did not message anyone in particular today. I decided to observe the women around me to understand what this day meant to them . It was rather an introspection.

It so happened that today the holi celebrations coincided with women's day. A friend of mine was upset about holi and said it is an antifeminist celebration.If you look into the folklore after all holika was burned and holi commemorates this story.I understand her sentiments but I joined holi celebrations today for a different reason.We'll come to that later.

At a cafe I met few excited women gathering for scoops of ice creams of all flavours available and reaffirming the fact that today was ' the day' granted by their guide for celebration.To them celebration meant ice cream at cafe coffee day. I wonder why they needed a women's day at the mercy of some guide to celebrate their womanhood. Can't they do this often , don't they own their own space and time and we are doctoral students the cream of this country?

I skimmed the newspapers to find buffets and sarees sales for women today and some of my friends said this was the best day ever to shop. I wonder what they do at clearance,christmas,new year and diwali sales. After all if you are born woman dont you shop till dead? Do you need some damn free market to fool you to believe its your day?

At office my hubby said some guys took women for lunch and other wore purple, green and white today. I wonder what good that would bring to anyone is it even a gesture of courtesy? Besides if you are at G.S you are obviously better than any woman out there because you are financially and socially independent and you dont need anyone to prove solidarity by dressing chic.

Late in the evening I heard few friends discussing Tishani Doshi's book release at Besant Nagar. Again a chic elitist crowd who beleives they understand every poem, keerthanand ghazal and adorn themselves with fab India clothes and innumerable beads at such occasions do they constitute the class that needs women's day?

And to end with the media's promise of Kellog's K and Women's horlicks to remind us how healthy we need to be and size zero is nirvana. Then paranoia over cervical and breast cancers and obsessions with women's healthcare checkups. Are we the women who need this day to celebrate. I am having tough time helping friends forgive myself and themselves for gaining few pounds and to top that kellogs and horlicks turn my arch rivals.

Aren't we way up the ladder to do any of these activities on any other day? Atleast I am. Then what makes this day special to me?

I think what made this day special was my interaction with the workers and cleaning crew at hostel who played holi with me. No matter what history the festival had, today women from two classes danced and played a festival of colours. We touched each other the woman who cleans our toilets and we the scholars enjoyed moments of pure bliss. We know we come from different walks of life. They strive in squalour yet shine our corridors and clean our filth. We toil with work unintelligible to them sometimes futile to their life too yet we shared moments that united us for an hour. I asked them what women's day meant to them and they laughed and one of them said.....

"The same fights, violence,lack of water,electricity, food and money, nagging in laws, cranky children, leaking roof,clothes to mend, demanding supervisor, unkempt latrines... and yes 100 bucks as a token if lucky on every March 8 with a nutrine eclairs completes the celebration".

They need a women's day and some leisure and some rest , some fun not us who can have it any day any time.


Anonymous said...

different from wt i thot it wud be.. slightly indirect angle?? :P
nd ofcourse there are pple who slept thru their so called day whom u frgot to include.. yes it ws introspective.. i cud see that ..

Parvathi said...

Well said Teena...I've always looked upon you for the embodiment of courage n boldness in women...

Justin said...

Very candid observation..

Anonymous said...

we had a talk on women empowerment in our college n some students came to invite me.. i told them.. im nt a woman who would be empowered by a speech.. so go n get some one else.. i told my colleague that these kind of talks really dont reach wer it shud.. students or teachers r not the ones who really need them.. ther r a large class of people who suffer silently at their houses. those who r really deprived of the happiness of being a women.. but unfortunately they r nt getting any benefits of an international women's day.. its like the reservation system.. the benefits reaching the less needy class..

Anonymous said...

i was not reading your blogs for sometime now. Was spending more time in libraries and less time browsing. But a very good blog.
Women's day, mothers day, fathers day : I used to think why these days when mother is special everyday. But I think taking a moment to think what we achieved and how far we came over, even a decade, to take that one moment to thank your mom even though she deserves it everyday, to get something for your old man when we never know what he wants, really make it speacial. We think. But of course a bit too much of commercialization. I will love if a guy will buy me that red kallumuttayi and tell me that I have come a long way.

- Chitra

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written! I agree completely with you. I feel all these womens day, mothers day, fathers day etc are made by Archies and Hallmarks to increase their sale. Why cant we give importance to our family members everyday or every month? Why do we need such days after all?

- Charu

royalblues7 said...

Hey by the way sorry for being late to comment on this. Quite interesting, so whatever ticked you off to write this just one itsy-bitsy comment from my side. It's sad to see the state of affairs not just in this country but everywhere out there when people utilize days in the calendar and thereby make people believe that they are/or maybe someone else is special. All of us are special and every day is pretty much the same, it's practically pointless and extremely sad that we take the aid of day's and month's to understand the gravity of our relationships and understand the people around us. Why I would say even birthdays and anniversaries shouldn't be celebrated instead life, living/being together with family,friends, spouse all needs to be celebrated at every moment throughout not just on one particular day. I would say it's a sign of weakness that one can't keep up the momentum and tempo on a daily basis and therefore, the 'n' number of days invented by sheer marketers. And very rightly said, Women's day or as a matter of fact not any special day asks you to burn your credit cards and strip your wallets/purses of cash. You have seen how one can impart sheer joy by spending no amount of currency !


Who said...

I think celebrating women's day by the credit card ready, stilettos raised, size zero wannebe, Facebook women today is like celebrating Independence day by the Ipad generation. The former does not relate to the agony and pain that women, unvisible to them, go through everyday of their life or to the ones visible to them gets overshadowed by the glitter and glamour of high street. The later, never even bound by chains of responsibility or frugality, let alone ruled by a tryrant or nation, celebrates the sense of being independent.

The quirk said...

Thanks for the support and comments dear comrades and good to know I am not alone out there ruminating on nonsensical stuff :)