Saturday, May 31, 2014

A post from an Insecure Woman...

The very first thing when I enter my office is keep my bag on the table, hang my overcoat and switch on the computer. Before starting my actual work I like settling in and that happens by reading some news on Yahoo, Rediff and then BBC. I always am keen on knowing about the news in Asia. On Yahoo and Rediff these days it is all about our brand new PM, his strategies and so on. I was surfing I read two heinous crimes, first gang rape of 2 cousins and second - kids in Maharashtra bein sexually abused to an extent that if they refused to perform a sexual act were forced to eat dog's excreta. Isn't it shameful that India is till in a pool of dirt and crap! We aren't rising above these issues...December 2012 happened the sensational case of Nirbhaya. The stir, social awareness, unity and anger among the society was unseen before. I had some hopes and thought that this would be a signal for those creepy, sly guys with perverted minds lauding that 'watch out you perverted guys we won't let you do this again and if you still plan then run for your lives'. It clearly indicated that they will have to limit themselves from committing such horrific crimes but I am proved wrong! They commit the crime and kill the girls by hanging them on a tree. Doesn't this create fear, terror in the hearts of those who have seen those girls hanging? Who gave them the right to decide a fate for those girls? Well after Yahoo and Rediff, I read the Asia section of BBC and felt a pinch in my stomach to read about this gang rape and about the other unfortunate woman in Pakistan who was 'stoned to death'. Why does a woman have no rights to live life as her ownself? Why does she need an approval from the society for whatever she decides? Reading all this I am certainly convinced that Women in Asia aren't secure, are disrespected and are objects of sex only.

I have been reading a lot of fictional novels based on Royal families from England and France. Surprisingly I learnt that Women then too were objects of fun, pleasure basically used for trade, in short. Princess from England married to a Prince of France so that they have a peace treaty done under the name of this marriage. Princess of Italy married to Prince of France. The Princess from the Royal family was sent with a huge trousseau of extravagant apparels,  jewelleries and not to mention lots of money to the Royal family where she is getting married in. This Princess who later becomes a Queen has to bore children and more appropriately warrior legitimate chidren whereas the King is free ti fkirt with anyone to produce bastards. The Queen has her own Confidants and very well knows about the numerous affairs of the King but has to bear all this in the name of the Royal Family. The history has been written by Men powerful and diplomatic where Women was always seen as an object for manipulation, trading with no voice of her own and was only looked as a system to prduce heir(s). The Indian history dates back to Rani Laxmibai who was married to a King who was more than double her age.

In short, I feel sad being an Indian Woman. I have a daughter and I admit that I feel insecure when I read such horrifying acts. Does this bother you? Don't we deserve a dignified status? Why we are looked as only an object who is weak? Sometimes I very well connect with Phoolan Devi and Sampat Pal. They did the right thing of being rebellious. It is high time that we should rise and stop this injustice...India has a bigger challenge of gender discrimination more than anything.

I feel relaxed after writing this least it helped me to vent my discomfort but I am concerned and worried being a Woman who is unsafe and insecure in our Indian Society. Should we stop reading fairy tales to our daughters and stop making them dreamy, instead start making them stronger able to defend themselves emotionally and physically?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


These days I am in an exploring mood. After a gruelling PhD time which I would like to compare to winter and at the moment life is just like 'spring' for me…so beautiful bringing in tender hopes of a warm, shiny and liveable promising summer.  I often go out for shopping these days and to be more specific Window Shopping! There is something very enchanting about window shopping over actual shopping. The wonderful feeling is because you don’t have to swipe your ‘magic card’ for window shopping or shell those crispy currency notes from your wallet. Window shopping keeps you well informed about the current trend which helps you to exhibit your knowledge amongst your girls gang. Enough of comparison…it almost feels as though I am writing another 'PhD thesis on Shopping'! Recently ‘AS’ turned a year old and to congratulate me on this achievement I received a number of discount coupons from Boots pharmacy. Bringing up a child is a joint effort so after receiving these coupons I felt the Dads are left cheated, they never receive any pampering. Coming to the point, one coupon was for a ‘free makeover’. This was very exciting and I was sure about going for it. The reason behind is I almost looked like a Zombie leading the most erotic life when I was a new Mum. The other Mums under the make-up cake gave me a complex which made me feel miserable. I booked an appointment with Boots for the 'No.7' makeup. Very frankly I have been someone who likes living and looking very simple. That is the way I have been brought up and I feel proud of my Aai (Mum) who taught me prioritise events in my life. She was very keen about my studies and was always on a look out of the intellectual impact of whatever I do. So it was always studies first (though I was never a book worm or a studious geek) and then followed everything.

I was full of excitement about this makeover as the last time I wore makeup during my wedding. Every bride wants to look her best and I was no exception but after the makeup I felt so awkward and artificial. Looking at the mirror I was like, ‘this is not ME!’ but everyone said I looked good and I was forced to agree. With all these thoughts, memories oozing out I sat on the chair. The girl who was assigned to do the makeover looked pretty with eyes neatly lined using an eyeliner, extra-long, curled eyelashes, cherry red lips (of course due the lipstick) and a very radiant skin (due to the extra radiance foundation). She checked my skin tone first and then started. She asked me which foundation shade I preferred? I was lost and with no answer almost fumbling I looked at her. Honestly told her that I am a novice and gave her consent to go ahead with whatever she feels is suitable for me. In almost 15 minutes the makeover was done. She was all praises, went ga-ga that I looked beautiful and how the No.7 products are awesome. Handing me the mirror she smiled at the next client. I looked at myself and was confused. I didn’t look the original me, felt a pang of awkwardness. Anyways, I thanked her and left the place. Took a bus back home and though nobody was even bothered about me, my makeup I almost felt that everyone on the bus was staring me or rather thinking how foolish I look!? Till I reached home I was only looking down and smiling over my decision for having painted my face. After arriving home I felt more comfortable. Rushed to the bathroom and splashed loads of water to wash the make-up, cleaned the smudged mascara with cleansing milk and splashed more and more water to make sure that it was all washed. Dabbed the water using a flannel and looked in the mirror…ahh what a relief to see myself, feel my skin. No awkwardness everything normal and natural.

This is when I realized – I don’t need a make-up to look outstandingly beautiful. Why makeover if it doesn’t make me feel comfortable? I look charming due to the smile which is honest and straight from my heart, due to a starry shine of intelligence in my eyes and a right attitude towards life. A well-qualified, well learned young lady that I am, do I need this show-shaa? Certainly the radiant personality that I have doesn’t need any make-up that is fake. I also concluded no cosmetic brand, apparel brand can define me as ‘’ am a Brand full with confidence, appropriate knowledge and thoughts those are mine – not influenced by anyone. Is there any need to follow anyone? Absolutely not! 

I am not the only one who has encountered such things and there are many who would agree to me. You can be like others by imitating them but there can’t be anyone like ‘you’. You are unique, different in your own way and hence you are a BRAND. Brand yourself with everything that makes you feel comfortable, gives you confidence to conquer your fears, and makes you look and feel natural, complete! I always find Unconventional is beautiful, Imperfect is beautiful and more important is 'Right attitude'...Cheers!!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Understanding Violence in Women - An Attempt

Recently I have been very actively writing blogs to an extent realizing that I am enjoying this very much. Further adding to my enthusiasm I created a page so that people know that I am serious about writing. There have been a few loyal friends who have been reading, commenting, agreeing and disagreeing with my views but all in a healthy way. A dear friend ‘Dr (Mrs )USD’ posed a question about my thoughts on movies like Gulabi Gang, Revolver Rani, in a way she wanted to know about the ‘violent streak in women’. I promised her that I will come up with my thoughts in the form of a blog. So concocting this blog has been a bit tough for me as the topic is serious, thought provoking and needs understanding of psychology behind the violent streak. I am into writing something that categorizes as ‘feel good’ but I decided to come up with something sensible not because I promised USD but it was a challenge for me to push my limits, compelled me to come out of my comfort zone. 

I thought hard that what violence means to me. How would I define violence? Unable to come up with a proper definition but can visualize violence. I can relate violence with physical power, anger, hatred, agony and destruction. The batterer causes intentional physical damage (injury or death), psychological damage (threat, diffidence) to the battered. To simplify this, a person who is violent has to be powerful to harm someone (weak) physically first and then psychologically. Is ‘Violence’ gender specific? If violence is associated with power then it can or has to be gender specific. It is said that Men are from Mars and Women from Venus. Mars represents anger, power and so does Man. The society, be it Indian or any other has always been dominated by Men – aggressive, strong, powerful. On the other hand Venus which represents Women is calm, soothing, and quiet. Women are not strong, powerful physically as Men are but they are emotionally strong, composed. I have no answer to why always in our society Man has been on the giving end and Woman on the receiving!?

I would like to mention that there have been well known social reformers in India who have toiled hard to bring in gender equality in the Indian society but we need more active reformers. I now shift my focus on Violence in Women – fairly based on my observation as a child, teenager and now a woman in the Indian Society. I completely understand and accept any contradictions to my thoughts. 

Power and strength has been misused by Man leading to mistreatment of Woman by physically abusing her (domestic violence), Injury or Death (Gang rapes). India is known for its diversity, different cultures, customs, traditions, languages but all unanimously agree on an unwritten rule that Man is the whole and sole head of the family, he knows all and is always right. A Man is bestowed with these qualities by birth. Does being a Woman mean that one has to be compromising, understanding, subdued always? I classify Women in two sects

Scenario in weaker sect:

There are families especially categorized as below poverty line where the bread earner is a Woman. She works as a maid, on construction sites or anything that can earn her a meal or two for her family. The Man (husband) from such families finds prestige in drinking alcohol, physically abusing their respective wives only because he is powerful. Women bear all this for the sake of her children and there is no much support from the society to stop such abuse. What happens to the Women? The weaker commit suicide and the stronger survive but they have to live with this abuse throughout their lives.

In such situations violent, agitated females like Phoolan Devi (Bandit Queen), Sampat Lal Devi (of Gulabi Gang) arise with uncommon heroism. They were not born as rebellions but were made. They were normal girls who fantasized a normal life but were married at a very young age to a much older Man. They faced marital mistreatments left them embittered. Caught between a desire to lead a normal life and a brutal society these females were left with no choice. ‘Die or Survive’ and they chose to survive but not as a sufferer anymore. They are the rebels, insurgents that the society has created who carried the flag of heroism and called a war against all such brutal Men in the society who made life miserable for the Women. Phoolan Devi was supposedly worshipped as an incarnation of Durga Devi. Sampat Pal Devi’s Gulabi Gang has tens of thousands of women today who look after several issues related to women other than of physical mistreatment. Can we state that the cause in gender discrimination?

Making of Phoolan or Sampat is a process which can be compared to making of a ‘Sword’. A natural human tendency and Women are no exception. The more you try to suppress them the more stronger they will emerge.

Scenario in educated, financially independent sect:

Does only physical abuse cause the damage?
Women from the urban civilization are educated, financially secure-independent. The abuse they face may not necessarily be physical. Being educated, well read, informed they are not prone to physical abuse but may face domestic violence in an indirect form which hampers their psychological balance. I personally feel that psychological imbalance  is more harmful. Psychological imbalance means threat, diffidence which makes a woman incompetent and weaker in the society. Women belonging to this category can make their choices of living alone where she does not have to face this harassment. The financial security she has, gives her the freedom to make her own choices. She may not transform into a Phoolan Devi or Sampat Pal but seek legal advice and come out of all this unscathed physically but invisible bruises.

My thoughts in brief:
Women should respect themselves first. Parents should try to modify the upbringing of a girl child by teaching her how she can maintain her own self respect, dignity and stand up for her own defence. 
She needs and deserves more respect. The way she is looked at in our society needs a serious reform. The unwritten rules should be wiped out and there should be gender equality. One should realize that she is made of cells, blood, and flesh that can feel physical pain; she has a sensitive soul, heart which can be bruised by harsh words – this makes her the most beautiful creation of GOD. Let us all treat her with love, dignity, respect which has been due.

A humble request to all Mums :
Teach your sons to respect every WOMAN, teach them to be sensitive towards every WOMAN they come across, teach them to bring in a twinkle of dignity when they see any WOMAN.
A WOMAN is like an ocean with waves of emotions….if tortured, disturbed limitlessly can bring in a tsunami. After all, water in excess acts like a poison. 

P.S: I know that I have only mentioned about Women but with no intention to generalize that all Men are violent causing abuse to Women. The act of bringing balance, reform in the society is only possible with equal contribution by Men

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Saturday afternoon and it is drizzling outside. The weather is almost perfect for some Adrak chai and onion bhajjis. Sanju is waiting for Rachel to arrive and so will have a company to enjoy some chai and bhajjis. Sanju (Sanjay Kamat) is born and brought up in Bombay aka Mumbai and is in London for last 3 years. He is passionate about Art and Drama. His love and passion drove him to London where he met Rachel; a sweet, smart girl who is passionate about Arts and Drama. She is down to earth and never gives those looks to anyone..the typical of looks of being a Londoner and I know everything! Well moving ahead, Sanju and Rachel have a project to submit about ‘Does Bollywood represents India?’ Sanju is shortlisting the recent releases and will offer Rachel a choice to pick a movie today. Looking at the clock, he picks up his I-phone to call up Rachel but suddenly rings the intercom. It is Rachel who is waiting down and Sanju lets her in. They greet each other she questions, “Which movie today? I am in a mood to watch a masala movie today!” Sanju is surprised to learn that Rachel is aware of the term ‘Masala Movie’. She looks at him and says, “Everything from India has to be about Masala – after all Indian Spices are so famous”…and then they heartily laugh.

Quickly Sanju prepares some Adrak Chai and opens a pack of half fried, frozen Onion Bhajjis. Shoves them in the oven and asks Rachel to pick up a movie. Going through the list, she is struck at the poster pic of ‘Himmatwala – Ajay Devgn and Tamanna starrer’. She declares I want to watch this movie – it is a Masala movie. Sanju is straining the hot, steamy, flavour Adrak Chai into the mugs and listening to her choice he can’t help saying ‘S*%$!!’. He quickly gets the tea and Bhajjis, he is no more interested in having them while watching a flop buster but he can’t deny either. Finally with their pen and notepads to make notes about the movie they watch. Rachel is super excited to watch it and she is in complete awe of Adrak Chai and Onion is still drizzling outside.  With their earphones they start the movie. 

Sanju’s notes in brief: 

I have no memories of the 1983's Himmatwala but this remake with Ajay Devgn is definitely the worst, pathetic. Everyone who has watched this movie should be awarded for their bravery, tolerance, ignorance and patience. I really don't know why I even agreed to watch this movie but I am regretting this decision of mine. Bollywood produces the maximum number of movies in the entertainment sector around the world but why don't they have a quality check? I felt so very sad for Sajid Khan and I very well know how it must have felt to be a director of such a disgusting outcome. Super solid star-cast, super sexy Heroine, Super star Hero one expects a blockbuster but this was like 'Khoda Pahad and Nikla Chuha'. Well let me stop criticising the movie now, I know how much the entire team must be repenting by being a part of it and I pay my condolences to the entire team and to the viewers (like me) who are disappointed, hurt after watching this ERROTIC movie!!

Sanju was very sure that Rachel too is gonna regret watching this movie. More than that he was concerned what would Rachel’s opinion be about Bollywood? Will she write it off as too melodramatic to be digested? Will she favour Hollywood over Bollywood? Will she think that Bollywood is rubbish, glittery and backward which means is India –Indian cinema is backward?

Rachel is a sensible girl. She lives on her own and her parents separated when she was 7. She sometimes lived with her Father and his girlfriend while sometimes with her Mum & her Mum’s husband. She loves Bollywood as it shows so much of togetherness, warmth and culture. 

Rachel’s notes in brief:

Every coin has 2 sides and so does every movie! Let us take a note of the positive impact it had on me....I know it needs patience and I can guarantee that you too will enjoy reading this and if you don't then do watch won't agree more that reading my post is thousand times better than watching that movie.
This movie falls in the genre of drama packed with emotions. I yet learning about genres but at least this was a family drama for me. After pushing my limits I could foresee something which was human, real, earthy and very Indian. Whether the movie does a good business or does it enter the 100 crore club is another matter but to me this movie certainly showed that there still is humanity amongst fellow Indians irrespective of any caste and creed. 

1) Movie opens with a fighting scene. Definitely Hero has to win (same in Bolly and Holly) proving that one who is portrayed strong doesn't always win but an honest man with right attitude and heart full love (jigar) can do anything and everything impossible. Somewhere in the movie the Hero takes over the Tiger and the later runs for his life....Bravo Hero!
2) Even today there prevails a relation known as friendship wherein there are no vested interests. It is a pure emotion and they are soul mates, brothers. The use and throw attitude hasn't crept in yet. India still cherishes relationships. I am so touched to see the daughter and mother duo who are very poor but yet live together fighting the odds.
3) Your friend’s family is your family. Where would you find this? In true sense people disown their poor, disabled parents but this movie still gives me a message which is praise worthy. India is about caring, loving everyone equally.
4) Your true friend loves you selflessly. His happiness is yours and your sorrows are his. He is never interested in your bank balance but always wants to treasure your dreams. You dream and he achieves.
5) Indians are still very emotional and have sentiments for their cultural beliefs. I appreciated the Raksha Bandhan scene in the movie where a brother is happily ready to protect her sister from all evil. Glad that there still is lot of depth, respect, affection and purity in this relation. We in the western world need Mother’s day, Father’s day to spend together.
6) The highlight point according to me was the punishment the Hero gives to the goons (Gundas) who attempts rape on the hero's sister. He truly abides by the rules of Rakhi. It is high time that the society should start punishing such morons who have made life miserable and impossible for the Women in the Indian society. Women in the Indian society needs more respect and there should be more work done for women empowerment. I didn’t like the way the women is tortured.
7) Opposites attract and spoilt Heroine falls in love with the Hero against her father's wish. All of a sudden this girl transforms to well behaved, fully clad- wearing very Indian attires from a boisterous, sexy girl with skimpy clothes. This yet proves a woman loves to give up everything for someone she loves and there is something known as LOVE which compels one to leave the wrong for right, teaches to accept your faults and improve them which is what the Heroine does.
8) An Indian father is worried about his unmarried daughter who is pregnant. The day when a girl is born in a family, constantly the parents are worried about her secure future. To me this is so touching. I wish if the parents here would be a little protective about their kids.
9) Coming to the end of the movie...the director has touched to the core belief in god or rather goddess...Mata Sherawali. This point is no fun as Indians heavily rely on God/Goddess. She sends her tiger to rescue the Hero from the goons very much proving that the good kills the evil. We have lost the faith and have moved to practicality but the Indians haven’t!
10) Last and not the least...All is well that Ends well. Hero takes over the village as a Chief which again shows that good defeats evil. All iz Well.

Rachel’s view: Yes the Bollywood represents India in the above mentioned ways. I haven’t ever been to India but this movie gives me a strong message that what India is to the world. I only request the Indians – not to change the way they are, don’t be plastic and over practical because they are the mascots for Humanity!

Sanju is absolutely stunned and speechless after reading Rachel’s notes and so am I! 

Trupti’s take:
So, friends I hope you enjoyed a different perspective of this superduper flop movie Himmatwala. I strongly believe in one thing, you can learn from anything and everything. Nothing is a waste....watching a sci-fi movie is altogether a different experience but watching a rustic, earthy hindi movie too is necessary. It keeps you grounded, brings you back to the reality and reminds you of who you are and what you are. I finally take this opportunity to thank Director Sajid Khan for making such a wonderful masterpiece and also to Rachel for her precious notes....sigh!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Undefined Happiness....

It was on a Friday morning, 4th April 2014. I clearly remember the day. There is something very special about some days or some days are really special. Friday brings in a stream of happiness as it is the last day of the working week and a sense of relaxation runs within us. The sheer idea of sleeping late and waking up late next day with no work pressure, no rush is enough for me to enjoy. I eagerly wait for Friday evening…on my way back home everything seems wonderful and lively and there it is, I see Saturday hiding and smiling at me with a promise that it will bring along loads of fun. Anyway let’s not get too carried away and focus on Friday Morning. Well KS (husband) was in London for some work and I had to drop AS (daughter) to the nursery. She was in deep sleep when KS left and hence when she woke up she was looking for her dear Papa…checking behind the doors and going towards the main door with a hope that her Papa might come in!

With great efforts I dressed her up after giving her a shortcut bath. Yes ‘shortcut bath’ is my term which happens from Mon-Fri and ‘leisure tub bath’ on Sat & Sun. AS enjoys tub bath and every child of her age does. Dressed up in pink she looked pretty. So pretty that I cuddled her and kissed her…:*. She has a dense tuff of hair which is dark, silky and shiny. They look amazing and added to As’s charm. Suddenly I came up with an idea to tie ponies of her beautiful hair. I am glad..I thought…I did and it looked amazingly cute. My cute little AS with two ponies, new set of teeth which made her look like a cute little rabbit was looking fabulous, adorable, kissable, huggable and every inch of a Diva that day. It wasn’t that easy to make her sit while I was styling her hair as toddlers are difficult to manage and once they are on their legs they don’t want to sit. There she was standing in between, moving her head which meant she didn’t want those ponies on her head, pulling the comb, stretching the rubber band but I didn’t give up. To distract her I sang some rhymes, played some rhymes on the tablet (thanks to the technology, it is a boon for mother’s to distract the kids. I am not in the favour of kids getting used/addicted to technology but I was OK today). It made me think for a while – am I bribing her? The problem with me is I think too much!!

Finally it worked. As the Ba-ba-blacksheep started she forgot everything that was going with her hair and was engrossed in watching the rhymes. Happy me!! Without wasting a single minute I tied two ponies. I recollected that my mother called them ‘juttu’. I then saw AS’s face and there she was so cute…I kissed her. Clicked her photograph’s….an overly obsessed Mum I am! Mum’s in 21st century are smitten by clicking photographs and uploading them or treasuring. They probably want to capture every moment of their growing kid. After having achieved this I was extremely happy. Sent the pics to KS through Whatsapp (again technology ki jai ho!). He called me back and I could sense how happy KS was looking at her cute snaps. That call by him which was full of happiness made me was too infectious to escape. I was madly looking at her and every time I looked at her I felt I was happier than before. I could not really define that happiness which definitely is a normal thing for others but rewarding for parents to see how beautifully their baby comes to the world and then grows so beautiful day by day. I also compared her snap in those 2 juttu’s with my childhood snap to find the similarity. To me she looked the most gorgeous. I called up my mum to tell her and she said that to her I was the most gorgeous in ‘2 juttu’s’. Isn’t this fascinating that for a Mum her baby is the most beautiful and gorgeous?!

She is our most prized possession and has got so much of happiness in our lives. Happiness which can be felt but can’t be expressed in words and hence I say happiness undefined. There is something strange about such undefined happiness…it is unforgettable, long lasting. I kept on looking at her snaps for the whole day, those 2 juttu's were my fountains of HAPPINESS..:) 


AS loves being clicked with 2 Juttu's
TS - AS's mum
Cute little AS with her Juttu's aka Fountains of happiness

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Identity Crisis?

The house is full of friends and family. Every corner of the house has been decorated with garlands of flowers.and tiny bulbs which have added to the beauty of the bunglow. It almost feels that stars have landed on earth for Pooja’s wedding. Groups of guests are seen spread all over the house- chit-chats, banters-laughs everything unlimited. The air smells flowers, lovely sweet dishes, loads of samosas and crispy kachori’s accompanied with masala chai and masala milk. A typical Indian wedding atmosphere that is so full of colors, aroma, people, and livelihood. Indian weddings are one of the highlights of our culture. One of the important turning points of our life is marriage for some it may not be as in today’s world there are hardly who believe in this institution. Pooja is a sweet, confident and smart girl with a degree in economics. She has been a University topper and has high aspirations for a bright career. After the wedding she will move to the States with her husband. She is right now nervous and happy rather experiencing a whirlpool of emotions. Leaving all the known, loved ones behind she is heading towards a future which is unknown yet appealing. She wants to travel to her future but she has to leave her past. Everything will change her name, her relations her life and even more ‘herself!’ The toughest task would be bidding adieu to her past, her parents mainly and everyone whom she loves. She is in her room, very quiet engrossed in her own self. Trying to figure out the change She met Raghav through common friends and then bloomed their love story and with acceptances from both the families they are getting married. So she knows the person in and out with whom she has decided to spend her own life but yet there is a hitch. What is it? Suddenly disturbed by the knock on the door, she almost misses her heart beat and with her palm on her heart she opens the door to find her loving Grandma standing there wearing a warm smile. She melts in her Grandma’s arms and starts sobbing. Grandma knows that these are all pre-marital jitters and sits down with her to soothe her. Pooja wiping her eyes and nose says “ Ammu, were you scared when you got married? Were you ready for this big change which was to change your name –your identity? Hence forth I will be known as Mrs Raghav…I don’t want to lose my identity!’. After posing this question Pooja looks at her Ammu for the answer. She knows she will get one.
To this question she first smirked and looked at me...held my hand and very gently massaged it with hers. With lots of memories in her eyes she started telling me her story.
Grandma: I had no much choice about my marriage. Your grandfather’s family was the first to have proposed for marriage and it was happily accepted The elders decided and I accepted. They knew what was right for me and I happily accepted their decision. It was from a very young age when we were taught that we are born here but belong to someone and one fine day that someone would come and take me along with him. I lived in that fantasy getting my doll married to my friend’s male doll, sent my doll away and it never felt odd. It was natural as though it was nature’s law. I was taught to be accomplished in household duties, taught to care for elders, respect them and never utter a single word in front of them. I never saw your grandfather until the day we married. That time was different and nobody ever asked me whether I wanted to marry? Did I like the bride-groom? I never felt that I needed an identity to live. Neither had I bothered nor did anyone else thought about changing surname make such a big difference to my identity. In fact after so many years of togetherness with your grandfather I realized that he was my identity. The day I lost him I lost my identity. After all this explanation she looked into my eyes with that witty smile on her face, she said to me, “I accepted your grandfather and everything related to him. There were never any issues about right-wrong, ego but yes we had self-respect and that is more important than identity. There are many important issues in life rather than thinking about loss in identity by changing name.”
 Pooja was speechless and this discussion with Grandma was enough to set a storm of thoughts in her but she got her answer. About to ask her next question she saw her mom coming in and soon there were three generations speaking about identity crisis!  Pooja’s mom could sense that she was disturbed. Pooja turned to her mom, rested her head in Mom’s lap. The moment she did so, she was out of the storm, her lap is the best place in the world-so serene, peaceful. Mom started.gently running her fingers in Pooja’s hair and started putting her words together.
Mom: I was the eldest of all and was considered to be responsible for my every act. Baba (Pooja’s grandfather) gave me the right education and teachings about everything. He gave me the freedom of expression when required. He always supported me when I rejected a marriage proposal as he knew I never took disadvantage of the freedom bestowed. As a growing girl child I saw him as a caring husband. He never treated Maa (Pooja’s grandma) as a slave or with disrespect. This is when I learnt that having respect in a relation is the most important. He realized the sacrifices Maa made for him and he always made sure that she gets her due respect. Today I am the Principal of a school and I know the world better now but then as a growing child I knew what to expect from my husband. Rajesh (Pooja’s father) has been a wonderful husband, partner. We saw many ups and downs in our life but we faced them with one identity. I never realized the necessity to retain my own identity that is because Rajesh never forced anything on me. I accepted myself as Mrs Rajesh because I liked being addressed so. By nature Man and Woman are of different temperaments. Man is more aggressive and Woman is sober. They are with 2 different energy levels and the best happens when they strike a balance. So, if I took a back step doesn’t mean that I was inferior or had no say but I thought this was the best solution. Looking at Pooja, she said there will be more real things which you will face as a couple and then you will realize that there is nothing like individual identity-everything is based on how well you know each other, accepted each other as Man & Woman. Your love, commitment is to each other is what matters, rest all are petty issues.
Pooja seemed very settled with all these explanations and philosophy. She was ready to face the change named ‘Marriage’. A 21st century girl but yet confused about her identity. Will Pooja Rajesh Mehta accept herself as Pooja Raghav Joshi?
If I were Pooja, I would happily have taken Raghav’s name. As I know everyone accepts this officially but find a problem to accept this publicly. Whatever I change my name to but I will always be a daughter to my parents, a sister to my brother, a grand-daughter to my grandma. In science my Blood, my DNA is my identity, the good deeds I do is my identity, the right way of living I inculcate in my kids is my identity. Let us not complicate life anymore with such petty issues, there is much more value to our life.

Remember; everything good and sensible in this world is ONLY due to Woman and why does she need an identity? She is just like water – takes the shape of a container but never loses her form-her identity!

P.S: I am Trupti Jamalpure-Sharma on social networking site only because my school and college friends weren't able to find me on the net with the name Trupti Sharma....but officially and whole heartedly I am Mrs Trupti Kamendra Sharma...:)