Answer by Smiti Bhardwaj:
The lady who:Wakes up at 5. Cooks for her kids and husband. Packs their and her own lunch.Gets the kids ready. Sends them off to school.Wears her 2 yr old stitched suit, combs her hair into a bun, puts a bindi and slips into her 18 months old brown liberty slippers, while putting her foil packed rotis into her buckle repaired purse.Checks all light switches, locks her home, reaches the bus stand, waits for the bus…Reaches office… Works… Laughs, smiles, jokes…Calls husband, reminds of premium last date.Takes a bus back home. On the way picks up groceries and vegetables. Balancing them equally on both hands…Greets the kids, listens to their stories, gets their homework done, smiles while watching them play and draw.Meets the neighborhood ladies, keeps herself updated about the happenings.Plays news in the backdrop, while peeling vegetables for dinner.Dances to the FM radio while cooking supper and hums along the old numbers at night.Greets her husband. Listens and responds to his day stories. Struggles to watch some TV clips herself between serving chapatis.Prepares for the next day. Makes the kids sleepFalls off to sleep in less than a minute.In short… All the Indian Women, who make their families work, who do multiple jobs, who handle the ups and lows bravely, who nurture and care, without even thinking once about themselves and who have no one to tell their stories to, except each other.Ladies, you are truly beautiful and I was really lucky to have been brought up by one of you. I never really think that I could ever manage doing even 10% of what you did.Thank you.
Note: To all who think that I have typecasted a womans' role in the Indian society, and that to be considered worthy and beautiful, a woman must dedicate herself selflessly for the cause of her family, it was never my intention to do so.Traditionally, women have been associated with household chores and family management and somehow this work of her was never given its due credit. Till the last and current generation even, we have seen mothers toiling for hours together, just to give the family a comfortable life. I wanted to highlight and praise that effort which she had put in bringing us up. People tend to take these contributions for granted. This piece of writing was an attempt to bring about a realization among all (men, women, sons and daughters alike) to acknowledge the efforts a woman has put to make us what we are today, that what they have taken for granted is actually a constant struggle, costing someone else their life and comfort.Numerous aspirations, dreams and wishes were sacrificed for us. They have taken up jobs, while sacrificing their own space, time and comfort, with little or no support from others. Its time to give them back what they have always deserved. A life of peace, harmony, respect and freedom.A woman is not someone who serves everyone. She is the CEO of her house, the Prime Minister. She holds the finances and has complete authority to delegate responsibilities to other family members. And with the ascension of her professional responsibilities, this delegation sort of becomes mandatory. Just that the family should reciprocate and respect her decisions. If they realize the struggle she faces daily, they will definitely concur.This answer of mine was just an attempt to surface what has been lying entombed since ages, knowingly ignored and undeterred, the daily struggle of a woman.Thank you.Image source: Google images