Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Naari Shakti !!!!

An unusually nasty news story caught my attention in the Pune Mirror today. A young educated wife had lodged a complaint in police that her 26 years old educated engineer husband in co-operation with his parents was harassing her for dowry. She had been verbally insulted and often beaten badly. This in spite of the fact that the family was financially well settled and the husband was a project manager in a reputed IT company.
I wondered where the fairer sex of this country has in store for her in spite of such a huge cry over women’s reservation bill. What was striking was the fact that the girl herself was working and financially independent.
I discussed this with some of my male friends. What I got was a couple of indifferent sighs. One of them thought it was a family issue and should not be printed in paper. Imagine!!!! Whats the use of all the education and women empowerment we talk about ?
This is still an extreme case but such type of incidences are still largely kept under wraps. Women find it risky to talk about it fearing scorn from the family members and husband. Even in many so called happy marriages there are factors that are unreasonably expected from women only.
For Ex. One of my colleagues was telling me “My husband and me both work in equally demanding jobs. We both have our projects, deadlines, submissions, deliveries. But when it comes to home it is me who has to do it all. I have to entertain the guests. I have to be at home at 6.30 pm to attend to my in laws. I have to invite all my husband’s relatives for dinner and lunch even if I have a crucial work schedule in the office. I have to look after all the weekend chores. Why should only I neglect my work when its equally important for me ??” she was asking angrily. I asked her whether she has talked to her husband about this issue and she is quick to reply “Never. I had agreed to this before marriage.” So while her husband enjoys his evening cup of tea idly on the couch, she has to look into the kitchen. But I couldn’t understand if she was so unhappy about this arrangement, how could she even agree upon such conditions in the first place.
well you got it right . . . this has been the way since ages.
Often we see that the in-laws take pride in telling everyone that their “Bahu” is a working woman with a fancy pay package. But they rarely acknowledge the responsibilities that come with the high paying jobs. Whenever she is late from office, she is gifted with indifferent looks and rude comments.
One of the working couples I know is settled in Australia. Equally busy schedules and equally demanding jobs. But even from there, she has to call her in laws, ask their well being and sometimes even provide financial help from her earnings while her better half spends his own earnings on parties and wine.
One of the biggest arguments, I have observed, is about the religious rituals and family functions. Even if both the partners are working and living away from home, it is the daughter in law, the “bahu” who has to get leave from her office and attend the functions. She is expected to come for the husband’s brother’s mother-in-law’s sixty first birthday even if she has project deadline to meet. Before she leaves she has to take care of husband’s food and laundry for the time she will be gone. When she returns she has to find her home in mess which she has to clean herself. All this while her partner looks after his owm CAREER, his office his work. Hey !!! Doesn’t she work just like you ??
Well most of the times the husbands retort irritated, “But to look after the home is also her work” . Well I want to tell all such husbands to shut their stupid mouths. Looking after home is women’s work because they have made it so. Its more of a choice rather than a rule. Just watch out for the day women will stop doing all this.
It is surprising that these type of comments come from educated men, but more surprising is the fact that even women tend to ignore them or take it in their stride. There is still a lot of “Chalta hai. What can we do??” kind of attitude among women as well. Well I want to urge all these women to get out of their shells. ‘Chalta hai kyuki tum chalate ho’. Women like us should strongly object to such unjustified expectations they are conferred with. After all it’s as much their partner’s responsibility as their own. Agreed that these are smaller facets in the broader sense of picture. But such things have a great impact in changing the old male domination we are subjected to since ages. Eventually it impacts the maturity of the society and even influences the generations to come.
I hope some of my “Pati Vrata” friends read this and comment their thoughts on the post. No matter even if they are anonymous.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Nibandha - Maza Dada !!!

I just had a small chat with dada. He was asking about my credit card details. The chat was over and out within a couple of minutes but it instantly reminded me of an old incident when dada had asked Baba to get one credit card so that he could purchase some online games CD.
It was my insistence during the “Baarsa” that my little brother be called Rahul. Kartik was just a formal identity for the school. I vividly remember the sibling fights we had, which mostly revolved around TV remote and video games. The fights generally ended with him scratching my arms and me hitting him on the back. Gradually our fights became less frequent. I thought we are getting mature, but later I realized Rahul had surrendered to my continuous bullying and bugging. Before I could have the intelligence to understand it, Rahul was growing and was doing so rapidly. The restless, aggressive and stubborn Rahul gave way to a more calm, mature and humble Kartik. He was exemplary in his studies, often getting more than me. I loved the praise good academics brought. But Kartik never had any attraction for the success; it came to him as naturally as his humility and intelligence. . something that was mandatory not something to be proud of.
He had varied but quite unusual interests since I can remember. I have never seen him chat with friends for hours on a typical “katta”. I have never seen him come home with dirt splattered all over after a long game of cricket. He had been a homely guy, spending most of the time on computer, scrabble, carom or the old set of mechanics which required intelligence and creativity more than physical exercise. He was the one who instantly claimed his authority over the new computer Baba bought when he was just 10 year old. Since then, it has been his world all along.
I was sailing through my own sea of feelings and he through his own. One day suddenly after his HSC results he came in front of me . . tall, lanky with his curly hair and brooding frame and to my shock . . the adams apple too !!! I wondered where my little brother with a squeaky little voice disappeared. He was suddenly talking about career, studies, life . . love, relationships as well !!! That was quite a shock for me. I tried to gulp the swift jump he had taken. And I was also feeling I had missed such a crucial phase of my bro’s life. But he was there nonetheless and I could clearly see the transformation and feared the day when he will leave us behind for conquering some new horizons.
Kartik was strong enough not to let his emotional self show the day he left for his college in Goa. My brother studies in “BITS PILANI Goa Campus” I would brag to my friends. But within the three and half years he spent there, he gave us lots of more reasons to brag. We never talked daily or for that matter even weekly. But whatever conversations we did have, I could realize the way he was growing. He had gradually become dada. We used to joke that since we brought our dog Snowy, I became “Taai” and Kartik became “Dada”. But jokes apart, he has been a real dada in all sense. I have talked to him about some of the most serious and private subjects of my life and has got some of the most amazing and most unexpected and the simplest advices. But never mind his genius; whenever we are together, he is the same small kiddish Rahul who loves “Ambyacha Rass” and “Purnachi Poli”.
I think that’s what makes him so unique. . his simplicity. Today when I think about him working in Juniper Networks with some of the most intelligent minds of the country about 1200 km away from home in Bangaluru, I can still be sure that when he calls home first thing at night, he will say “Aai mala gharchi athavan yetey”.
Keep it up Dada. We all love you.