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Women's Liberation

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by rvnachar, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. rvnachar

    rvnachar Silver IL'ite

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    ‘Why is your face swollen Lakshmi?’ asked Vimala. Her maid immediately broke down and narrated her previous night’s fight with her drunken husband. ‘He beat me up black and blue Amma. He never gives any money for the family. How do I take care of my two little children? All his earnings are spent on drinks’, she said.

    ‘You stupid woman! Why do you allow him to beat? Don’t you know women are equal to men? That is why you need education. Why do you stay with such a fellow? Anyway you are earning. Can you not walk out and live peacefully? I will get you a job in that school’, Vimala advised Lakshmi.

    This happened two years ago. Now Lakshmi is happy. She left her drunkard husband. She now lives separately. ‘Who’s that guy who drops you everyday?’ asked Vimala. Lakshmi blushed and said, ‘He is Muniya, with whom I now live. He is very nice. He has accepted my children and takes care of them well. He is a carpenter and earns well. He has promised to educate my children, as much as I want.’

    ‘Has he married you?’ asked Vimala.

    ‘No Amma. But I trust him. Why should he marry me? We live together and are happy as we are’, replied Lakshmi.

    Vimala, the Sociology Professor, a women’s libber and social worker was shocked.

    ‘Where had you been yesterday? You came home so late? I was so worried. I called up your office and you were not there’ Vimala asked her husband, the Vice President of a multinational company.

    ‘How are you concerned? Why do you question me? I am a man and can go anywhere and come home anytime. Why should you bother? Do I interfere in your affairs?’ answered Ashok rudely.

    This is not the first time. Of late their relationship had soured and they often quarrelled over petty issues. Ashok was very narrow-minded and could not tolerate Vimala’s friendship with her male colleagues. Her colleagues found it strange when she refused to even sit on their two-wheelers in times of emergency. Her empty talks on Women’s Liberation and equality of women at various forums only invited mockeries. Her teenage children found their home becoming a war field very often. Ashok and Vimala had totally removed the word ‘communication’ from their dictionaries. Anything each one said only went past the other’s ears and hurt the big ego. Ashok could just not tolerate Vimala’s any act and always found fault with her. Every purchase she made was followed by a quarrel at home and she was not permitted to say ‘my income’ though she earned Rs.30000/- a month. She was not permitted to make any decision at home without consulting Ashok.

    Yesterday’s quarrel ended in a fistfight and Vimala spent all night crying. Her face was swollen and body bruised.

    ‘Amma, what happened? Are you not well?’ asked Lakshmi with concern.

    ‘Yes Lakshmi, I have a bad cold and am running temperature’, answered Vimala, the liberated woman, farcically. She is not even free to cry out her heart to Lakshmi because her status comes in the way. She cannot leave Ashok, as firstly she loves him and secondly she has no guts to deny the children of their father’s love. Above all, she is scared to face the society after leaving her husband. She is destined to live like this forever.

    Who is more liberated?

    Sudha Narasimhachar
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  2. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Sudha,

    What you have written is true! I have a friend whi is facing exactly the same situation....unable to get out due to children and the society. As we go up the ladder of success and status, it gets all teh more difficult to get out of such relationships. What a paradox.....and true where is women's liberation truly!
    Good analysis .....thanks for posting it here.:2thumbsup:
  3. Manjureddy

    Manjureddy Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Sudha
    What is true liberation, who is more liberated are questions that continue to vex us. As middle class educated women we constantly make adjustments, allowances, compromises to keep the family running . And since ups and downs keep happening, we cannot make clean cut decisions . Somehow, life goes on. And so long as we dont sit down and analyse about freedom and liberation, its seems ok.

    Many years ago a Hindi film was made based on Vijay Tendulkar's play "Kamala". The episode you have narrated resembles that. There too, the heroine ,an urban housewife realises how she is not liberated , after comparing herself with the village girl who comes to work for her.

  4. bindunaidu

    bindunaidu New IL'ite

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    dear rvnachar,
    interesting post..
    i had seen a malayalam movie called 'Adam's Rib'. The protaganists are three women from three different economic classes of society. In the face of exploitation and oppression, the upper class woman commits suicide; the middle class woman loses her mind and it is the woman from the lower class who rebels and fights for her rights..
    your write up reminded me of that

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