This is a Back Page Column.
Being a WOMAN, simple it seems, but is not that easy
It’s not just about make-up, shopping and being cheesy
Neither just about cockroach, lizard and inexplicable fears
Nor only about sensitivity, emotions and easy flowing tears
Womanhood is daughter, sister, lover, wife, mother’s bond
Womanhood is an intricate amalgam of all and much beyond
WOMANHOOD AND EMOTIONS:
Womanhood is not about emotions, it is about an oceanful of emotions. The range of our emotions is hugely vivid and extremely deep. Happiness, love, care, appreciation, hope, enthusiasm, anger, rage, fear, grief, despair, anxiety, surprise, apprehension, worry, envy—all runs in a woman’s blood and there is no turning away from this fact. We are women, we are sentimental. We love boundless, we hate endless. We hope for the best and we worry about the worst. We get angry in a second, we melt in a moment. We care too much and we fear too much. We can have more than one emotion at a time, which comes across as confusion.
Emotions of a woman are her greatest strength and the driving force behind all the strong decisions. Emotions are an expression of femininity and not of fragility. Womanhood is all about feelings. And we have no qualms about it. We absolutely love this aspect of womanhood.
WOMANHOOD AND TEARS:
Overtly active tear-glands are the hallmark of women. We don’t know when-where-why would we cry. We just do. We do NOT deliberate it; and we can not help it. Never ever take a woman’s tears as a sign of weakness. It is just a measure of her SENSITIVENESS. Tears of a woman could have four meanings:
Meaning 1: She is too happy and short of words to express it. These tears deserve simple acknowledgement.
Meaning 2: She is hurt and fearful. And she really is. These tears demand a sincere apology.
Meaning 3: She is in pain. And it is intense and inexpressible. These tears need genuine concern.
Meaning 4: She is just SHE. She has a million things to worry about. It may be her chipped nail or damaged hair; her dog might be ill, or that beggar child on the road, or Shah Rukh dying at the end of a movie, or the mention of another girl by her boyfriend more than twice, or a 0.000001-kilogram-increment in her weight. Anything and everything can stimulate those tear glands. And she can control them as much as a man can control ogling at women.
No! No man can understand the fourth meaning. The best (or the only thing) he can do is “to pretend to understand, to refrain from laughing, and to keep quiet!” She would be alright in some moments.
WOMANHOOD AND SOCIETY:
Morality, responsibility, liability, fidelity, rules, customs, superstitions are the social ornaments obligatory to wear for the women and optional for the men. Any breach of these codes of conducts by men is acceptable and forgettable, but the same by women is condemnable and punishable. A son is forgiven for adultery but a daughter-in-law is not. An infertile son is covered but an infertile daughter-in-law is exposed for divorce. A woman never commits mistakes, because anything ‘against-the-norms’ that she does is a sin—a permanent and indelible stigma, which makes the most pronounced part of her profile for a lifetime. Accept or do not. It is a fact and unfortunately has remained so, ever since the dawn of humanity. Womanhood is about facing the discrimination for having sweeter voice, longer hair, fairer complexion, shorter height and softer bones as compared to man, since we can’t ascertain any other reason for all the partiality that is done to us.
Womanhood is about the uncertainties and apprehensions that come along with the sharpest and the most crucial turning point in her life called MARRIAGE. Marriage, for a man is addition of new colours; for a woman is the change of the basic colours. In a traditional Indian arranged marriage, she is uncertain about THE ONE. She is uncertain about the new environment, new home, new family, new roles, new responsibilities, new customs and new traditions that she is going to be part of. Only a woman knows the nervousness of this life-changing transition full of uncertainties. Womanhood is about leaving her home to be a part of HIS family and to make HIS home.
Ah! The man-made society has planned it all according to the man’s comfort. All woman has to do is accept it comfortably. Womanhood is about shining amidst all the inhibitions of time, space and society. Womanhood is about seeing through the veils. Womanhood is about walking with the chains. Womanhood is about leaving a mark against all odds.
WOMANHOOD AND MOTHERHOOD:
Bearing a child and motherhood is probably the most beautiful thing in the world, for nothing else could explain the charm and glow on a pregnant woman’s face. And on that beautiful face are the fine lines of tension, anxiety and anticipation about the well-being of that ‘new life’ within her. A woman lives through those beautiful nine months with extreme caution. Labour pains at the termination of this blissful period could give goose-flesh and shake even the most robust of souls. Womanhood is about bearing this intense pain for the birth and continuation of life. Womanhood is about those heart-wrenching shrieks before the heart-warming cry of a new life.
Womanhood is about the sleepless nights that follow. Womanhood is about the untiring responsibilities that come along. Womanhood is about nurturing a seedling into a tree. Womanhood is about the devotion of a lifetime for motherhood. Womanhood is about living this most blissful essence of the womanhood.
WOMANHOOD AND CONTRADICTIONS:
Womanhood is a constant struggle between heart and mind.
Womanhood is a continuous shuffle between rigidity and fragility.
Womanhood is a frequent shift between sensibility and sensitivity.
Womanhood is a regular alteration between stiffness and submissiveness.
Womanhood is about living these contradictions and still striking a balance. Womanhood is about settling the internal tides and keep flowing as a smooth river. Womanhood is about facing these inherent challenges and coming up strong and stable.
WOMANHOOD AND MAN:
Let’s believe that Men are from Mars and Women from Venus. Since only this credo can explain the stark differences between the two species. Womanhood is about making adjustments with these MARTIANS since they are bound to stay together on the Earth.
Men need to know that women appreciate the meaningful things more than the magnificent things done by men. Women crave for just 5 things from men. Respect. Love. Understanding. Loyalty. Time. We do not want a man to do us favours but we notice every single act of chivalry and gentlemanly behaviour and remember them forever. And these count A LOT while making the final impression of a man. Our dad is our best man and every other man is seen relative to his standards.
And for the man a woman likes, loves and marries:
- We think you are the best. And the truth is, you are the only one we think about.
- We love you for your being “YOU”, but still we would try to change a million things in you.
- We don’t need you to bring us moon and stars but counting them with us under a starry sky is not that tough a job! Is it?
- We don’t want you to be superman and move the mountains for us but fixing those nails and electric wires is not that big an expectation!
- We are not usually dangerous, just that we feel like killing all other girls who talk to you.
- We are not gold-diggers. Certainly not. A flower works as much wonders to cheer us up as a diamond does.
- When we say it matters, it does. If we say it does not matter, it still does.
- When you behave weirdly we make hundreds of assumptions per second. And 99 of them say, “He does not love any more!” But we still believe in the 100th one, which says, “He does.”
- We admire your male best friends but you CAN NOT admire our female best friends!!
- You can forget to breathe for once but forget our birthday and you die!
- The fact is that sweet, little and meaningful things DO MATTER TO US. And that’s the only thing we wish, expect you to understand. That is it. Just that.
- We already worry about our weight and pimples. Do not rant about them.
- We are not interested in knowing the hourly details of your life. Just tell us what you did in the 3600 seconds of the day.
- By the way! All those diamonds, solitaires, credit cards are just icing on the cake. And we don’t mind occasional icings!
That is enough of revelations I guess. I would be moving to the next section for the sake of humanity.
- WOMANHOOD AND THE UNIVERSAL FACTS
- Yes! We love chocolates, teddies, kids, Shah Rukh, Edward, love stories and fairy tales. PEACE.
- Yes! We are dreamy. And our dreams are beautiful. PHEW!
- Yes! We don’t understand gadgets, bikes, football and maths. And we care the least. BLAH!
- Yes! We are right in 90% of the arguments. In the rest 10%, the other person is wrong. WATCH OUT!
- Yes! We don’t need continuous oxygen to live. We need non-stop talking. BLISS IT IS!
- Yes! We know more than Google does. We can find out anything and everything. BELIEVE IT OR NOT!
- Yes! There is a calendar in our brains and it registers every single date and anniversaries. And it is stored there forever.
- Yes! We know only two adjectives: SWEET and CUTE! And only one interjection: “Awwwww!” Isn’t it so sweet?
- Yes! We need 4–5 hours to get ready. And our time starts when others have already reached to the door. PATIENCE MAN!
- Yes! Shopping, make-up, gossiping and giggling are our birth rights. No arguments. Full stop.
This is just a faint outline of womanhood. And I am not done yet. There are a zillion other aspects I am yet to explore and experience. I will revert back once again, to tell you all that is left, in Part-2, may be in the 60th year of my life, where I would just be sitting on the porch of HIS house, adorably seeing HIM fixing my broken stick, narrating the part-2 to my grand-children and asking “Shivi” (my grand-daughter!) to type it and send to NTMN’s editor. (Oops! Didn’t I say WOMEN ARE DREAMY!..:P)