Tag Archives: women

Of Women at Play

It was a team event. Most women like yours truly, refused to participate, at least initially. Then some of us agreed to cheer for others and then well, went on to play.

What an experience it was! To feel the ground beneath your feet, to feel free and competitive, and to be part of a game, though most of us did not know the ‘T’ of Throw Ball.

Some body said, ‘it has been 20 years since I played any game’. ‘Me too’, joined another!

Most of the women were not used to sports, may be a little bit of running in school times but definitely nothing after adolescence. No wonder then that the game was clumsy at best except for the spirited fresh and fit youngsters who knew what they were doing.It was great to watch them, more enthusiastic, better trained, and more in groove with themselves taking the lead, it was great as well, to be able to do whatever was possible, if only to stand by and cheer like John Milton said, ‘They also serve who only stand and serve’.

Yet the outdoor experience was fun. It was a great time for some female bonding, across departments, away from the digital screens and the classrooms and the usual pressures of teaching.

I was thinking of the very ‘womanly hesitation’ to get out and be yourself.

Hitching up sarees and hitting the ground does not come easy, overcoming consciousness of the body, the appearance, risking the look to look dirty, unkempt is not easy either, but then when the girls got down to play the game, there was obvious cheer and much celebration.

Where are the public spaces for women? Where can our girls go out for a walk, or go running or just get together and play a game without being objectified?

Where are the public places for just walking,sitting down and chatting or trying a game of badminton or kho kho?

The simple pleasures of living are denied to most women, yes, especially women!

Public toilets are still  a luxury in our country, perhaps its too much to expect spaces for public recreation!





At the threshold of another beginning

It surely felt like another beginning. The signs were the same.The brightness, the lightness, a certain sure-footedness. I looked at her clear eyes and the fixed gaze.I realized how determined she was. There was nothing to say. No need for consolation, no support, no vain good words of positive reinforcement, nothing.

“When life events had occurred earlier, it was never my doing, I was just the actor, playing the role laid out to me.” But “this”, she waved her hand with what may be called arrogance, “is  me. I charter the course of my life now. It feels good to hold the reins. It breaks my back sometimes, but, is there any gain without pain?”

We kept looking ahead, staring at a vague something. Having watched her struggle through low self-esteem, doubt, fear, loneliness I had almost given up on this woman.But she proved me wrong. Her bull-like resilience  helped her stand up  un-cowed to the walking away from responsibilities of others. When dialogues, advice, suggestions, hope and patience ran out, she took the spade into her own hands. She made decisions, entered spaces hitherto,oh-so-not-her -kind and well, made a niche for herself.

It was one such day that she decided upon buying a flat for herself. Flat, you? I asked surprised but how? You don’t earn enough? What if you lose job? Why so, over ambitious? I am not going to give you a penny, declared someone. And I never expected you to, she laughed.Are you crazy or stupid? Why do you want to burden yourself ?I asked bewildered at her stubbornness. The philosophess replies smugly, “I am just buying a bubble for myself in the transience of this life. It happens to be costly, but its my bubble, that’s all.”



The mirror smiled oblivion

Scratching the sheen off her conscience

withered and sturdy with time

she peered for cracks

for little peep holes of emotions

of hurts, of this should not be me’s

of tiny rivulets of hidden shames

of bulging bellies

of sagging you know whats

not yet a home

no steady income

over the hill

down in the deep

losing steadily

a no-brainer all through

finding none, not a single one

she turned her attention to

the poker marked face

the marks,the deep pits,the freckles,the wrinkles

the mask was cracking?!!!

ha! she, the other jumped in joy

there it’s traces of  hurt, the pinch, the twitch

& the mirror simply smiled oblivion.