Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Article written for Women's Day@ HP

Date : March 8, 2008
Venue : A flat in the middle of Bangalore City
Time : 9 am

It’s just another Saturday morning at the Koshi residence. Grandma is sitting at the dining table with her favourite rosary in hand. Margaret (Maggie) is applying the final touches to her overdone makeup while her daughter Simi lay lazily on the sofa watching Channel V.

Grandma : Simi, why don’t you at least brush your teeth and wash your face as soon as you wake up. Hasn’t your mom taught you anything at all?? Why are these kids like this, God? Why don’t you tell her something Margaret?

(Simi raises the volume of the TV and turns the other way unconcerned)

Maggie : Ma, How many times have I asked you not to interfere in what Simi does? Let her be. It’s Saturday and no school today. And how many times have I told you not to call me Margaret? Not that I mind you calling me that when alone but you use the same in front of my friends too! What a boring name!

Grandma : I regret the day we came to live with Philip in this wretched city. Margaret turns Maggie, “Ammachi” became Ma, all I hear is vehicles honking through the day and night and no one has any time. I miss my small village in Kuttanaad.

(She pauses remembering Kuttanad)

Maggie : Ma, Bangalore is the reason for what we are today. We would be still looking after Dad’s poultry farm if back in Kuttanaad. I work for a reputed MNC. I earn along with my husband. I am financially independent and we manage a good education for Simi too.

Grandma : Education?? What is it you call education? Look at her watching all those scantily dressed men and women moving their legs and hands on TV , in front of her elders with no shame. She speaks loudly in front of her father and wears all these short clothes too.

Maggie : She wears what she finds comfortable and suits this weather. You don’t expect her to wear a saree when she goes to meet her friends in this heat.

Grandma : True, I don’t expect her to do that because her mother herself has shifted to wearing salwar kameez from saree. Like mother, like daughter. By the way, where are you going wearing so much powder so early?

Maggie : Didn’t I tell you I have to attend the Kitty Party at Lata’s house? I would be staying back for lunch. All your food is in the refrigerator. All you have to do is cook some rice. I’ll be home by tea.

Grandma : Oh no! Are we eating yesterday’s food again? When will I eat some fresh food in this house? Do you even remember the time you cooked last?

Maggie : Stop complaining, ma! How do you expect me to cook daily when I have to go to work? I get home late as well due to all this traffic. Moreover both Philip and Simi are “ok” with this setup, why can’t you adjust?

Grandma : They are fine with this because they have no other option. Your dad would never eat the previous day’s food neither would I let him to. That’s why we were healthy always. I looked after him when he was alive and don’t behave like you and Philip who compromise on everything, like friends. Look at the food you eat! Burgers, Pizza, all good for nothing! See how fat Simi is getting eating all this. How will you get her married if she grows like this?

Maggie : This is something I agree with. Simi, dear, it’s time you have a check on what you eat!

(Simi sprang up with a growl on her face)

Simi : Mom, Will you ask Veliyammachi to stop talking? Firstly both of you keep blabbing and don’t allow me to watch TV and now she’s talking about me growing fat! Chill people, give me my space. I’m out of here. Mom, I’m going to Ravi’s place to watch TV in peace. I’m not staying in here with Veliyammachi alone! (She fumes out throwing the remote)

Grandma : What! She’s going to some guy’s house! And you are not saying anything? What will become of this world? Oh God!

Maggie : Ma, it’s ok! They are our family friends since years. Don’t worry! I’m also leaving. Don’t forget the food in the refrigerator. (She picks up her handbag to leave)

Grandma settles on the sofa and switches to Asianet. There appears a young girl wishing all the women a “Happy Women’s Day”! Grandma sighs as she ponders through all the phases of womanhood she had been through and what she saw today before her eyes through her daughter and grand daughter. She thinks aloud, “What’s so ‘Happy’ about all this? Sigh!!”

Note : Women’s Rights and Women’s Freedom is something very individualistic and varies through generations too. The women of today don’t share the same ideologies that the previous generation believed in. We may have different views on why and how to celebrate Women’s Day. I wouldn’t debate on any view proposed. Let’s just celebrate “Womanhood” today !


amna said...

u wrote that? really nice..

Kay said...

Nice post.Happy Women's Day!Reading Shantaram?I finished it last month.Real nice book.Amazing someone can be so strong.Enjoy!I know I did!!

shnaggy said...

wow...that really happened? chaotic but cute hey!

Jayashankar said...

I think Grandma and me miss Kutanad a lot!

Jayashankar said...

I think Grandma and me miss Kutanad a lot!

Jayashankar said...

I think Grandma and me miss Kutanad a lot!

kammommy said...

so true n damn good.