I have a soft corner for girls. I know, I know many of you would be sniggering ‘this old man has gone over the bend after 60’ – “ Cheeni Kum “ and “ Nishabd “ affect. But do hear me out before you pass such comments. Only after you know of my sound logic as to why I say so, please then you may take digs at me. Let me also make it clear that this is not after Ms Pratibha Patil became President. I had started writing it long ago and was giving finishing touches when she became “ Rashtrapati “.
A girl is discriminated right from the birth, or rather from foetus stage if found out by mal-practice of medical technology. Number of reported foeticides of girlchild are just tip of ice-berg. If she is lucky to survive that stage and arrives in this world, she is mostly welcomed with cold comments like “ Ladki hui hai”. Very few persons, no matter how well educated or advanced, actually rejoice birth of a girl as their child or grandchild. I make this statement keeping in mind literacy rate and urban – rural divide. However I am glad that at least there are some persons, no matter how little, who do show happiness on birth of girlchild. May this tribe increase. This is our inbuilt mentality. We forget that if it was not for survival of a girlchild at some stage we would not have been born. So you see, even before coming to this world a girl faces such overwhelming disadvantage. God forbid if she happens to be second or third girl child in the family. Her journey in the track full of obstacles starts thereafter.
During her growing years her requirements, be it toys, clothes or choice of school / college, are on second priority, worse if she happens to have a boy as sibling. As she grows she learns that she can not be as free as her brother. Naughty pranks of a boy are recounted with much merriment and that of a girl are looked down upon saying nice girls do not do such things. Her way of dressing or choice of friends, going to parties etc is something which is always under scanner, not only by her parents or siblings but even neighbors . A boy with girlfriends makes his parents swell with pride but moment a mother comes to know that her daughter has a boyfriend she loses all semblance to sanity and becomes overly inquisitive to the extent snooping for everything her darling daughter does. She forgets she herself was a young girl once. A girl has equal right for her freedom. A one to one talk can do wonders in such situations but alas we tend to forget this. Well, this goes on and on as injustice to a girl.
After college a boy, if not keen on further studies, looks for a good job but for a girl parents look for a good “match “. There are lot of girls who go to work now but mostly it is out of compulsion in premarriage stage on the part of parents till they can marry her off and economic considerations after marriage to achieve better living standards for the family. There are some career girls but compared to female population their %age is dismal. Even the choice of job is regulated by as to what will people say if she is working late or is in male company most of the time at work place. Boys will be boys is famous saying but when it comes to a girl everyone goes back by a couple of decades if not centuries. A girl even as CEO is always under scanner by everybody, be it seniors, peers, subordinates or outsiders. Even a smallest slip up is attributed to her being a girl.
Now comes the most crucial stage in her life. She has to leave well known environments and move to unfamiliar territory ie move to new family after her marriage. No matter how long she may have known the boy before marriage or his family but it is only living 24 X 7 that you come to know what it is to share life. Thus starts real test of strength for a girl. Inspite of being highly qualified, successful in career she is excepted to adapt herself to new situations and win over everyone. This is where her upbringing comes up for microscopic test. Marriage is supposed to be full of adjustments but more is expected from the girl than boy. This is where a wise & intelligent girl realizes that what can be achieved by gentle way of love and affection can never be obtained by clash of egos. One who becomes an important and most loved member of family by her affectionate & charming ways is the one who will not only make each and everyone have soft corner for her but also make a respected niche in the society. Unfortunately in the present day scenario there are many a girls who instead of being HOME MAKERS become FAMILY BREAKERS. This is mainly because of their sense of insecurity as they try to wean husband away from the mother not realizing that bond between mother & son is different from one between her and the husband. It is a fact that it is difficult for many a mothers to let go of their sons whom they have reared for so many years There is no denying that there are some mother in laws who forget their days as young brides and cast aspersions on the ability of new member to settle down amicably. This friction causes strain not only on the young girl but the whole family, specially when it becomes two sided cold war. A sensible girl will win her mother-in-law to her side with respectful approach and satiating weak points of elder one which generally are need for feeling important and loving care & attention. So you see again it is the girl who has to shoulder the responsibility. Western countries have now come to realization that it is joint family which can stop rot of unhappy marriages leading to divorce and wayward behavior by children of broken homes.
Then comes next stage which is motherhood. She has to undergo all the pangs before becoming a mother while he is free as a bird except taking her to doctor or ensuring she takes her medicines timely. She has to juggle time to balance her career and bringing up child with such dexterity that would make even a skilled male management expert feel envious. She has to play multiple roles - firstly wife, then mother followed by career not forgetting role of family member. It is for sure it is she who moulds future of our nation with what she inculcates in her offsprings. As time passes she has to be a skilled negotiator for rivalry between her offsprings. There is never a time when she can relax as changing times make demands for more strenuous roles – as mother in law she has to see that married youngsters settle down happily and again go to changing nappies as grandmother so that young mothers can acquit themselves well in careers etc.
Now please tell me am I wrong in saying that I have soft corner for girls?