What I remind myself today and every day!
Around Women’s Day every year, there are questions asked about its need and relevance. There are also statements made about the need for Men’s day. The way I see it, it hurts no one when we take a day out in the year to celebrate our existence as women, to voice out our struggles and battles, to celebrate our wins and to embrace how far we have progressed. And if men would like a day to do the same, I would personally join in the celebrations :-)
As we celebrate International Women’s Day, I wanted to share with all you lovely ladies a few things that I remind myself as a woman, today and every day of the year.
Perceiving ourselves as equals
Growing up in a family of three girls, we never felt or were never made to feel that we were any less than boys. We had the right to education, choice of careers, freedom to choose our life partners and embrace our individuality. But as I got more exposure to the real world, I realized how fortunate we are to be blessed with parents who raised us as human beings first and daughters second. I understand that there is a long way to go to achieve true gender equality, but I do my bit and inch closer by perceiving myself as an equal, trusting my abilities, being aware of my limitations and working around it to chase my dreams. And as for the society that I live in, I accept nothing less than respect and fair treatment.
Embracing our femininity and our individuality
I love dressing up, wearing my lipstick and putting on my stilettos. I love how a saree drapes the curves of my body. I enjoy discussing fashion, beauty and politics over a drink or two with my girls. I enjoy being in touch with my emotions and how I express it. I enjoy everything about being a woman. I do not want to chase the paths or achieve the heights that a man can, because my goals and benchmarks are very different. I also take immense pride in my individuality. I am made differently than my sisters who came out of the same womb. Our priorities and preferences are different, but we respect those differences and are extremely supportive of one another. I am a realist and an achiever. I am inconsiderate at times, tend to place my interests above others and do not take very well to authority. But I accept and unapologetically embrace everything that makes me ‘Me’.
Empowering one another
I have been around two kinds of women – one who see others as threat or competition and the other who would do everything in their capacity to build one another. I prefer the latter and I’m sure so do each of you. I acknowledge and regret the times that I have been the former, even if for a split second. It’s such a big world and there is enough room out there for each and every one of us. So let's build one another, support one another and take pride in other's journeys and achievements.
Standing up against injustice for yourself and one another
I was at home in Cochin recently, when a Malayali actress was kidnapped and harassed. Hearing the news, my father was appreciative of the actress who came out and courageously spoke about her ordeal. He was of the opinion that more and more women should come forward and raise their voices against such crimes so that the criminals are hopefully brought to justice. I believe it's about time, that as women we understand that we are not to blame for any form of assault on us. What we wear, how we speak, our choice of career is an extension of ourselves and nobody can hold these as an excuse to commit any form of crime against us. When I speak up against injustice towards me, my voice is for and that of millions of women around the world.
Having a few role models to draw inspiration from
Bobbi Brown inspires me. Narendra Modi inspires me. So does Michelle Obama, Nick Vujicic, Malala Yousafzai and Beyonce. I am mesmerized when I read stories of people who have not given up on life despite what it has thrown their way; people who have chased their dreams and settled for nothing but excellence; those who have sacrificed their lives for a cause and breaking stereotypes. Rumi’s poems of joy, life and love from 800 years ago still continues to inspire me every day. There are so many people and their achievements and struggles to draw inspiration from. And looking up to a few can only help us grow.
I count my blessings every day, that of being a daughter, a wife, a sister, a friend and I thank God and the Universe for all that I am and have been given. I pray for those who do not have the same privileges as I do and hope for a day when the world gets better for every single woman out there. This Women’s Day, we celebrate the theme ‘Be Bold For Change’ and I vow to be bold and daring, to be sensitive and compassionate, to stand by and raise my voice against any injustice towards any of my kind.
I love you all. More power to us xoxo
Photo Credit: Anis Sharma, May Photos - Anis, I hope you understand that we value your work and support immensely :-)