Inspiration is essential to all of us. When we get up each day to the same old routine of living, we need someone or something to make us enthusiastic, happy and wanting. To me, inspiration always came when I read about women who have braved the odds to make a mark in life. When I would feel low and dejected, reading inspirational life stories worked well as antidepressants. Reading articles on facebook of women who made it big past the age of 35 made me even happier! No, I would not call that feeling happy exactly. But, it was a mixture of anxiety, happiness and hope that maybe I could do more. On talking with a few friends, I realized that a lot of them used the same tactic to go through the drill of a busy working mother life.
So, stories of Malala Yousafzai, J.K.Rowling,Laxmi (the acid attack victim), Sunitha Krishnan(the activist working against child traffiking) and the like were a part of my staple diet.
Lately, I have been realizing that though there are many women who have been celebrated and awarded for their great achievements, there were many more whom we met in our everyday life who do not even realize that they are worthy of such honors.
Long struggling wives of alcoholic patients who suffer domestic abuse, manage work and educate their children, mothers of mentally challenged children who harbor part guilt and part hope that their children may be part of a miracle cure, women who go in for reversal of tubectomies at their families’ behest because one child died ( the trauma of surgery as well as the loss of the child with them to bear), wives of men who live in the middle east who have to live separate from their husbands within days of marriage only to stay with and care for their in laws and children without a thought for their dreams, and so the list goes on.
Early on in my married life, any activity apart from my routine which I undertook would make me crave for attention, a small pat on the back and a golden star to be given by my husband or the benefactor of that deed for the extra effort that I put in. I would put on my martyr act (as though I had sacrificed my all important time without anyone appreciating it)with a long face and all if it were not forthcoming.
In comparison, an average Indian middle class working woman, who apart from working hard in her office or workplace, also manages to take care of a household full of elders and children, cook for them, micro manage finances, socialize, make sure that her children are studying well, perform ritualistic poojas, and manage to balance herself on a two wheeler in a sari with vegetable bags in front and two kids pillion. All this, without feeling that it deserves accolades. It’s all in days work!
This, despite the injustices meted out to them in multiple ways. A household of archaic orthodox rules, a husband who does not speak one loving word, postpartum periods when they have to leave their children with mothers who stay in far off villages to report back to work,handle pestering mothers in law, battling bad vibes from relatives if it happens to be a love marriage(strangely these vibes do not apply to the boy in concern, though he is very much a part of this marriage!) etc, etc..
Hence, nowadays, my inspiration has changed. Every morning I see inspiring faces around me.. from the road sweeping municipality worker to the maid in my house to the women staff in our hospital to the vegetable seller and to all the fantastic women I am related to. All of them seem special and worthy of the highest acclaim in the world. Each has battled their own odds and come out successful and smiling!Now, I don’t have to look far for my daily fix of enthusiasm. Thanks to all the super women around me!