1993 the fresher’s welcome at the Management department those days included the faculty families, the four of us were sitting quietly watching every one, Rajchechi in a saree of the Dadar Market kind, Nupur plump with short hair and salwar kameez of the Chandigarh sector something kind, Geeta with a salwar kurta of the paalika bazaar kind and me in my pondibazaar kind of saree,
There was lot of energy the girls giggling and looking at us rather condescendingly. Eventually one of them approached us,
“Madam, how are you, can I get you anything”
We politely told them its okay lets finish the formality we can then party.
Then comes another girl with a chiffon sari and open hair, “its meeting all of you madam,”
“Same here ” said Rajchechi the rest of us smiled politely
Someone mentioned about the kids school, drop and pick up, probably we also talked a bit about how to handle the lunch box. This girl very intelligently piped, ”Ma’m it must be quite boring naa for you after sir leaves the house. I mean after cooking and clean then the whole day is yours.”
‘Naa beta, we make pickle and papaad to keep ourselves busy’ retorted Nupur.
All the same it was quite amusing that this girl had concluded that we were housewives. Of course her lack of exposure could be it, for Rajchechi was heritage guide the kind the scholars would take help from, while Gita was the accounts in-charge at Cidade Goa, Nupur was the operations in charge for Goa for united insurances and I had my own private practise.
Whatever made the girl conclude that we were housewives, i do not belittle housewives but I do belittle bored housewives, and job-goers because there is a lack of passion in what they do. Well that’s not the issue.Its the type casting that we have–
69% of men agree that their judgement of women is based on their looks.
b. 64% of women agree that the judgments passed on them have affected their ability to reach their true potential.
c. 70%of women agree that majority of judgments on women are from family members or friends rather than strangers.
d. 72% of women agree that working women face more judgments on their looks or their clothes than housewives.
When Sanskrit Bharati wanted to do a play they requested me to teach them movements. I of course gave them my time and energy during the rehearsals I was normally in Yoga pants and loose shirts, one of the participants a gentleman in his mid fifties maybe, from very conservative background asked me, ”Are you hindu?”
“What’s your surname.”
I knew what he was asking me, when I turned round and told him, ”asminaarak, sridevi sharmani, angirasa gothrautpanne, koushika gohtrapanigrahi ” he told me in Marati ”aarey you speak Sanskrit, angirasa gothra you are Brahmin” honestly I do not know how it matters and I do not care.
Another time it was at my in-laws we were having a dhanwantri hawan, one purohit was telling the other that I did not drape a navaari, like all brahmin women, my daughter told him,”Who told you we were Brahmins? Didn’t you know that vaidya ajathiya which is a vaidya has no caste, amma,and I are both doctors so we are ajathiya” this by the way right out of the Upanishad
These are situations, as to how I handle it, Not My Circus Not Monkey. How someone perceives me is his/her problem and not mine I establish my brand when function.
By the way I don’t drive a car, i ride a bike until recently it was Rajdoot, now of course its a non-geared bike. I swim, I trek, i also do embroidery and cook divinely. I am who I am and who I choose to be at that moment…if it bothers well you have a problem.
I’m breaking stereotypes based on appearance by sharing my experience for the <a href=’https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmZNWS_1d5w’ target=’_blank’>#IAmCapable</a> activity at <a href=’http://www.blogadda.com/’ target=’_blank’B>logAdda</a> in association with Nihar Naturals