Happy Women’s Day!!

March, 2020

Hi Folks

Last month, on an impulse decision over a phone call, 3 of us ladies, bought tickets to watch a mega Kannada play called “Malegallali Madhumagalu” (Brides of the Mountains). A 9 hour, night long play set in Malnad (Karnataka) 200 years ago, staged in the rustic settings of Karnataka Kalagrama in Jnanabharathi, Bangalore University across 4 different stages with both artists and audience moving to a new setting every 2 hours in the open air theatre. A theatrical adaption of the renowned Jnanapeeta award winner Kuvempu’s novel of the same name, the play had characters played by artists from across India who didn’t ‘act’ – they lived and breathed their characters making it surreal and breathtaking. Whew ! the experience was mind-blowing.

The period drama mirrored the changes happening in the then society such as advent of coffee drinking, conversion to other religion, introduction of bicycle, introduction of English medium schools etc. But what was most telling was the pathetic treatment of women back then in our so-called ‘women-revering society’. It was an eye-opener which stabbed at my heart deeply, stirred me movingly and at times angered me nauseatingly. Women (an embodiment of Shakthi or power) were no better than the household cattle – ready to be traded with older men for money, prohibited from living a life of their own choice, beaten for loving someone, killed for defying age-old customs, eyed by lustful men – both married and unmarried – with women themselves as active accomplices. All depicting how vulnerable, insecure, helpless & dependant women were back then – thanks to lack of education and financial independence, though they were smart and intelligent. The brilliant magnum opus made the entire village come alive and with it lay bare the plight of the women of different ages across different strata of the society.

Not that no such situation exists now. Not that nothing has changed either. Of course, over the generations, women have protested, women have fought back, women have suffered, women have endured, women have rebelled, women have battled, women have won, women are empowered, women are leading and women are successful ! Even as we continue to hear and read about brutal rapes, harassment, domestic violence, exploitation, lack of opportunities, gaps in wage-parity, societal discrimination, corporate snubs et al, stunning success stories are galore !! Women’s Education has led to financial independence, health and hygiene which has led to great societal transformation. A lot has changed. A lot is yet to change !!

On 8th March, 2020, on the eve of International Women’s Day, I had the good opportunity to share my thoughts on the local radio, FM Rainbow 101.3 :

Building a professional career along with balancing personal life is like a marathon run – need loads of stamina. Build it up well.
Say YES to an opportunity if you get one. Women generally have self-doubt and tend to be low on self-confidence. Don’t doubt your capabilities. Take it up.
Dont try to be a ‘perfect woman’. Take care of your health which may suffer if you stretch and fall into the ‘perfect woman syndrome’.
Create and nurture a support system before the need for it arises. Will help you be ready for any kind of responsibility.
Ask for help when required. Nothing can ever be achieved alone. People-power empowers.

The above tips are from my personal experience and are true for both men and women. Go ahead, read and add a few more to spruce it up.

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