“Whoever told you that?” I enquired. She confidently replied, “My mother, who else?” Making me realize that it wasn’t just my mother who got away with feeding me outlandish things but, there were others of her calibre out there. And, it isn’t just the mothers, the sisters, the girlfriends, the wives, all of them hands down take away the prize of ‘leading and misleading’.
It is an ironic phenomenon in a patriarchal society. While, the leaders (men) are more than happy to warm their seats, (mis)conceptualizing the extent of their powers, it is the women who are secretly ruling and leading the society everywhere. Women are like those preservatives which one cannot do without in pickles. The lack of it would speed up the pickle’s rotting process. And, for those who take an offense at being called preservatives, you are the catalyst of the society! Speeding up the reaction but not getting involved in it.
As a young child, I enjoyed squishing dragon flies against the walls of the place of my residence. I was often scolded for this and my parents went to extents to discourage my gruesome murder around the place. Needless to say, nothing worked! Until, one day my mother made me seat down and with a voice laden with a sea of emotions said, “Do you know what would happen if you kill them all?” A cocky me said, “They all will be soon wiped out from the face of this Earth”. She said, “And that would be a time to bid me goodbye. For every dragonfly you kill I am punished by God and I die in tits and bits. This means, if you kill them all, you would kill me as well”. After 20 years of being fed this dragonfly-mother dish, dragonflies today can ravage me alive or beat me up, but I haven’t (or, would) touched one ever since.
And if isn’t the power of a mother (though it has a small part in it). It is the power of a woman. We see, remember and use the information tactfully for the welfare (and, at times with an evil intent in mind) of those around.
Ask a husband, “Who said it?” he would say, “The missus”. A brother would blurt out, “My sister”. And though the role being played out by her decides the degree of ease of her navigational journey through one’s mind, but all in all it is a ‘she’ who makes an impact and not a ‘he’.
Take customs. Every part of the world has a store of its own, its own beliefs and traditions. Who imparts these to the ones who are the future of today? It is a woman (or, women)! Folklores, customary traditional practices and a lot more are a woman’s subjects which she teaches with ease. Men of the family and in a grater scenario, the society, falsely take pride in their prowess of preservation of their culture. That is, if on a certain day dementia decides to over-rule the minds of the entire womankind, then all hell will break loose and there would be no body to remember and take care of these miniscule details.
Therefore, we have the famous ‘grandmother’s stories’, instead of a ‘grandfather’s stories’, moral rootings or any rooting for that matter is a woman’s doing. She influences and shapes up the mind of all.
So, is it a good thing or a bad thing that we have been embalming these beliefs and traditions forever now? It is a little bit of both.
Traditional beliefs which are anti-humanitarian and mostly structured to suppress the women folks of the society are also handed out (or, forcibly fed) to the young and naive by a woman. Beliefs like- you are cursed to be born as a girl, you bear with it as you are a woman and a lot more of these are roped in and secured by the hands of a woman. The men who say the same are just repeating some things which have been told to them by the ladies in their life. They neither have the wits nor the memory to remember them all.
On the flipside, there are women who have set themselves free from these trappings and are now spreading the word for others to do the same! There is a wealth of truth to the saying, “Educate a woman, you educate an entire generation”. The key to educate or degrade is in her possession.
We have been ignorant to this fact forever now. While, fighting for credits is good, but deviating our concentration on laurels and being driven with that one purpose is and can be hazardous in the long run. Shouldn’t we be acknowledged for our works? I am all for it, but at what price? Price of others being left behind while you are being applauded!
So, the movement of liberating woman which has suddenly taken hold of the nation by its throat is all good. But, the movement has its own trapping. Trappings in the form of disparity. There are those who are leading and winning in this movement, while others are yet to know of the movement. Who is to be blamed for this? A woman is to be rightly blamed for this!
Torch bearers (that is us) should always be mindful of what they are being handed down. A torch or a bomb? We are the makers and rippers of the future of today. So that, the next time somebody asks, “Whoever told you that?” you can proudly say,”My mother”, knowing the precious value of the good part she has handed down to you.