Monday, October 17, 2011

A womens' weekend

Highlighted on Oct 17, 2011 by Global Voices - The world is talking, are you listening?
  

This has been a weekend for celebrating women.

    Contrary to my tendency of avoiding mass scale get-togethers (n > 10),  I found myself along with a blogging offspring (who had independently registered herself), at the Dove-Indiblogger Women Bloggers Meet held in mid-town Mumbai.  More than 90 women had registered, and converged there, from various corners of Mumbai, miles away; possibly some even came from other cities.

A wonderful welcome after the hassles of Mumbai travelling, cool drinks,  and a plethora of pampering offers of leg massage, hand massage and hairwashing/styling,
it was a morning of great companionship,  where we put faces to blogs, introduced ourselves , listened to the Dove folks extol the virtues of their new products, and old folks like me suppressed a smile seeing corporate looking Dove chaps  giving a speech and using the word "chipku" to define  oil slathered sticky hair. No one likes oily sticky hair, and Dove had come up with a non oily alternative. They had a lady with soft manageable wonderful hair give us a talk about how to use the stuff. And all the while it was interspersed with the Indiblogger MC person, having quick announcements and competitions which had really nice Gift certificates as prizes. A terrific lunch later, there was a team treasure hunt,  commenting on each others backs on huge white hanging paperboards, (notice how different it is from commenting behind each other's backs), and all the while various folks kept going into screened enclosures with bedraggled windswept hair, and returning with freshly washed, fragrant, blow dried and set hair, which was an event in itself.  The event ended with all the ladies being given amazing Dove hampers, and the much coveted Indiblogger tees.

Then IHM , who had invited  entries for the Tejaswee Rao Bloggers Awards, and had been flooded with entries in 39 categories , all related to Women, announced by Sunday evening,  that the first set of results would be announced the next day. All reflecting, the Woman of India, the trauma and celebrations at her birth, her growing up, her place in the family, society and the world, her ambitions,her disappointments, and thrills,  what she has to put up with as a sibling, daughter, daughter-in-law,wife,employee, and even as a boss; all this across the spectrum from have-nots to the extra-haves. And one looked forward to a huge library of articles to be enjoyed with a decent cuppa , at one's leisure....

Sometime during the Indiblogger event, I got a call on my cell phone. The number looked vague, I wasn't expecting any call, and I cut the call as we proceeded to the lunch area. The phone rang again. I picked it up.

It was my household help,"S.", a much blogged about lady. Since we were leaving for this event fairly early in the morning, she was going to come and cook a simple hot  lunch at noon, for the non-blogger at home, and she was calling to say, that she had cooked some extra stuff , as she wouldn't be coming in the evening, since she was off to hospital, having just become a grandma for the 4th time.  She, 3 sons, 3 daughters-in-law, 3 grandsons, and 1  daughter lived in 1.5 rooms, and she had just acquired a 4th grandson !  Much excitement and celebration, and I congratulated her and told her I would see her the next day. I was amazed that she remembered to call me in all the excitement. 

She came in this morning, with a big smile on her face. The entire family had been to the hospital the previous day, and the new mother would be coming home in a couple of days. She made some tea for both of us, brought me mine, and  I asked after her daughter-in-law, how the other little grandsons reacted to the new arrival and so on.

Her face wreathed in smiles, she  told me  everything. Then looked a bit wistful .

Finished her tea, collected both our cups, and stood up to go to the kitchen.

"You know, four grandsons; I'm happy.  But I was dearly hoping for a granddaughter !  I suppose I'll just have to wait...."

And I thought about all those super qualified moneyed folks who go do ultrasonic exams to determine the sex of the foetus in their daughter-in-law's womb,  and the radiologists who defy laws and reveal the sex of the foetus, so  some family members with mercenary minds can  arrange to end a tiny life, simply because it was to be a girl.

I hope S gets her wish in the future. She is aware of limiting the family size. Her eldest has two sons, and the parents have had the family planning  surgery done.   She has 2 other sons, and one unmarried daughter (who might shortly get married). So there may yet be a granddaughter for S !

A little girl in the family, who would enjoy and thrive being nurtured by a grandma like S.

Maybe, sometime, in the near forseable future,  the offspring blogger in my family , who has a photoblog, will take her pictures and blog about her, like I do about her grandma.


And maybe, just maybe, S and I, on a wonderful, prefestival weekend,  ( like  the one that just happened ) , sometime in the future, will look at stuff on a screen, take sips of some wonderful tea, look at each other, and smile, maybe, our toothless smiles ....:-)







14 comments:

  1. I do think that a girl in a household is a must maybe i am wrong .. but it keep the men in check somewhat ...

    Bikram's

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  2. Years back, my mother asked Goddess Meenakshi of Madurai for a boon, that the 3rd child she was carrying be a son, which third child she insisted on going in for even though my father was perfectly fine with the two daughters.
    Years later, she had 4 grandsons in a row. Desperate once again, she prayed to the same Goddess Meenakshi of Madurai for a grand-daughter, the only one she has now. :)
    I am sure Goddess Meenakshi had the last laugh after all! ;)

    Nice to read about the blogger meet and the Dove experience.

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  3. That is a lovely post- just feel like giving you a hug! Hope S gets her wish.

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  4. Beautiful post indeed! I, too, hope S gets her wish. You are such an incredible friend to so many! This tired old world could use a lot more like you! Have a lovely evening and a beautiful tomorrow.

    Sylvia

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  5. my mom like S is still waiting for a grand daughter ! :) :) Hopefully this male dominant family 5men against 4women will soon be balanced ! :D :D :D

    seems like a pretty eventful weekend ! :D

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  6. Bikramjit I absolutely agree :-))

    Shail Yes, the goddess works in different ways, and I am sure the only granddaughter is greatly fussed over by her brothers too....

    Sandhya Tank you and Hugs back !

    Sylvia Thank you, and there are so many wonderful people around ! If we only looked !

    Gigihawaii Thank you..

    HW I absolutely agree with your Mom. I am sure Hriday does too :-))

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  7. what a lovely post.... more power to us women!

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  8. The blogger meet was made special by meeting people like you, Suranga!

    It's always the simplest folks who teach us the best lessons, I think.

    Someday, we will all be enlightened.....

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  9. Congratulate S on my behalf. First for the arrival of the grandson and second for actually wanting a granddaughter. She is quite a lady I say. Must meet her on my next visit.

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  10. Greetings!

    I have just been exposed to your writings courtesy IHM.

    I have read some of your old postings which have been shortlisted recently by IHM.

    The selection of the best blogs in various categories is presently under way in connection with the Tejaswi Rao Blogging awards and some of your entries have been shortlisted and have attracted my attention.

    I am glad to have come across this blog and have greatly enjoyed reading your posts and I wish I had known about your blog earlier.

    I hope to pay frequent visits in future and hopefully leave some comment behind each time I visit your blog site.

    This is just an ice breaker and I will return shortly to read your recent postings.

    Regards and best wishes

    G Vishwanath
    Bangalore

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  11. Ernestine Thank you !

    Life Unordinary Thank you !

    Corinne Thank you ! And it was fun getting to meet you! Hope we can meet again soon ....

    HHG Will convey your wishes to S. And yes, I look fwd to ur next trip here. And certainly get you to meet S..!

    G. Vishwanath Thank you for the kind words, and welcome to my blog. I've been a fan of your writing in IHM's comments section. I look forward to your comments on my posts.

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  12. Nice to hear about your recent blogger's meet.
    I have always believed that such meetings are desirable.
    I once organised a meeting of local members of a yahoo group and it was a pleasant and memorable experience. Putting a face to familiar names, hearing their voices, feeling the warmth in their hands during handshakes, and converting a weak cyber acquaintance into a warm personal friendship is possible only after such meets.

    But I have also heard cynical comments from some persons who are not too enthusiastic about such meetings.
    They claim that these blogger meets unmask several bloggers and they were disappointed at the actual person they met. They seemed much more interesting as bloggers than as real persons. They also felt that these meets could be unsafe as you never know the real personality lurking behind a web name.

    However I believe one reveals oneself through one's writings. In my case, the meet threw up some surprises only with regard to the looks of the persons, but I found I had judged their natures fairly accurately from their postings over the years.

    I have yet to attend a blogger's meet as I am not a regular blogger, but only hope to be one in future after my retirement.
    Till then I have contented myself with meeting some carefully chosen bloggers personally by either hosting them or going over to their place. So far I have not been disappointed.

    I look forward to reading more about S. I do envy her. She already has four grandchildren while I wait patiently for my first one.

    Thank you for your cordial message welcoming me and I trust we will meet often at this blog site.
    With regards and best wishes,
    GV

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