Last year I came upon this strange, quaint and charming ritual – of linking up to International Blog Delurking Week 2017. I know that it is not really ethical to participate in two challenges at once, but this challenge is up for only this first week and I have just two days left to participate. So I do hope the UBC forgive me for this transgression.
So what is this all about?
Basically this is a way of finding out if you, dear reader are actually reading this blog or just skipping by without so much as a glance. If you are a serious visitor, do leave a comment stating that you have actually read my post.
Tell me about the person who inspires you as the rest of this post is about the person who inspires me.
I’m inspired by a stereotype
Strange as it may sound, I am inspired by my grandmother and her grandmother and her grandmother before that. These women are stereotypes belonging to a generation when they were the hands that rocked the cradle and silently ruled the world. They were women who were home makers who rarely stepped beyond the boundaries of their homesteads. Yet they had a vision and an insight into the world they saw from afar. What inspires me about these women who were in a way cloistered from strangers’ eyes, is their courage and fortitude to succeed despite all odds.
In most Indian homes you will see photos of such women staring out of heavy wooden frames, unsmiling, unflinching and totally devoid of any emotion. These women had a steely look about them. Their hair would be pulled tightly back, in a stern school marmish way. These women were considered ‘property’ of the men who fathered them, the husbands who married them and the sons who looked after them in their old age. Many of them lived lives of misery, living from one task to another, one day to the next. They were often married off to men they had never seen and would probably never have married had they been asked for an opinion. Often they were sent off to their new homes with the advice “Don’t leave your husband’s home standing”. This cryptic message actually meant that the young bride could only leave her husband’s home on her bier.
Why does this stereotype inspire me?
Luckily I belong to an era when women do more than just rock the world. They have the freedom to rock the world. In my part of the world we’ve had a woman Prime Minister and several women politicians who have governed at different levels. And these are the women who are all descended from the same stereotype – the woman who has been cloistered. The woman who has had no freedom. The woman who has had no education.
Whenever there is a hiccup in my comfortable world, I think of these women who did back breaking chores : milking cows, tending fields, cooking food, washing pots. They drew water from wells and hand stitched clothes. No wonder they didn’t crack a smile. Especially for something as frivolous as a photograph.
So, I tell myself when the net is down, when the washing machine is acting up or the taxi doesn’t come on time – think of what your grandma would have done? She didn’t even know of all these things. She would have hitched up her sari and walked the mile and washed her clothes .
And as for the net ? The only net she knew of was the one that kept the mosquitoes away!
This kind of woman is typical in every society – the strong matriarch who is the force behind the people.
I am participating in the #Ultimate Blog Challenge and also linking up with Mel’s International Blog Delurking week.