Since 8 AM today you would be receiving texts celebrating womanhood, be the shopping site you empty your salary or the bank that gets your salary credit every month. Your partner has, perhaps, brought you breakfast in bed accompanied by a few sentences of sweet nothings – almost a second Valentine’s Day in 3 weeks, you reach work and a special card awaits you at your workstation, reminds you of the matchless value you add to your organization – you feel at the top of the world. This is your day, today, 8th March – International Woman’s Day. You are the queen, but for just this one day. From tomorrow it’s going be the same 9th of March, 10th of March and then you might just forget the date, because – its ain’t worth remembering.
Of course we cannot make every day special. But with a little mindfulness, an ounce compassion, better choice of words and at times, silence in place of curiosity, we can save the day for another woman. Sorry, to bring the cruelest truth to you, but more than often it is one woman, who inadvertently yet habitually, makes life tougher for the next. This International Woman’s Day, take a pledge never to ask these 10 question to any woman, be it a friend, colleague, cousin, neighbor – what have you.
- 25th birthday is the big juncture – so when are you tying the knot? You know girls stop getting good rishtas as they approach 30, hain na?
- It’s been 8 years since your marriage, why aren’t you planning a child? Why don’t you visit this doctor my bhabhi consulted – even she couldn’t conceive for the first 3 years. But again, if nothing works, you can always adopt a baby.
- Just one daughter and full stop? Why don’t you try for another child? Maybe this time you’ll have a boy.
- Why would you choose to be a homemaker after earning an MBA? Don’t you think you wasted a seat that someone else could have used to make a thriving career?
- Why would you go to work leaving a toddler at home with a nanny? Doesn’t your heart melt abandoning that cute little human all alone for 9 long hours?
- Woa!! You seriously need to cut those kids some slack. Why are you so tough on your children all the time?
- I thought we were real close friends, but you never told me that you have had a divorce. Got to know it from Mina. You are so perfect; what had happened?
- Don’t you get fed up of throwing on those same salwar-kameez or draping this boring cotton saree every morning? Why don’t you join the gym? Lose some weight and then try a whole new wardrobe maybe?
- Why don’t you put on some make up? You will get an added boost of confidence, and everyone will look at you in a new light. In fact, I say you must go for a haircut and a facial also. Kitni kali pad gayi hai. Shall I book you an appointment with my parlourwali?
- Why do you have to slather yourself with so much make-up every day? I think you must relax with this foundation-blush-mascara a little. I mean, how much time do you spend every morning getting ready though?
You would be lying if you said you haven’t ever come across any of these questions. Cross your heart and say you haven’t asked any of these to any other women. I shall confess, I am guilty of being at both the ends and know exactly how discomfited these questions have had me. Before we fight the other gender we deem misogynistic, we need to promise to ourselves, “Never will I ever make it tougher for another woman. It’s a long day already, I’d not make it longer for her.”