Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I got back home from work today and, to quote a phrase that could stand to be abused more often, had a 'renewed respect for my mother'. I wonder how she came home each day after 8 long hours of going half-blind in front of a computer screen, traveling by train from Churchgate to Santacruz, shopping for groceries, cooking dinner in a hot kitchen, checking on my home-work, hearing every single detail of my day, watching the news and having a rousing debate with my dad about the state of the nation's politics, getting stuff ready for the next day... only to wake up the next morning and go through the same routine again. I've only had a 9 hour work day and my mind, right now, is swirling with so many thoughts that I can't seem seem to put a finger on a single one. It amazes me to think of all the things that she planned and accomplished in the same 24-hour day. Not just my mom, but several mothers of that generation are absolute “super-women”. Most of them had to straddle the demands of a generation of mother-in-laws and mothers who expected them to be perfect “bahu-betis” while proving that they are as competent as any other at work. No excuses worked on either front. I cannot imagine my mom coming home from work and saying, “I'm too tired today, maybe I'll not cook, but blog.” I think many, in our generation of middle-class educated women, have it easy. We seldom have to make any compromises, we are not just free to but EXPECTED to follow our dreams and reach our potential. We usually have the solid security of our family behind us. We are so unaccustomed to hearing a “no”. Does that make us unhappier when life sometimes declines us? Does the fact that we have only ourselves to blame if we fail make it that much harder to face ourselves when we do? Are we spoilt children who don't know how to cope when things don't go our way? I don't know the answer to these questions but I sure hope that we don't buckle. If we do, I think we may go back to our mothers, queens at “dealing with it”, for solace and advice.


Firebringer said...

:) Yeah, I know what you mean. Have thought of coking in the morning, but even the thought seems impossible :)

Guess when push comes to shove, one adapts

Aditi said...

Yes, I know exactly what you mean. Now that I have a take care of a house too - cook, clean, manage the hassles of domestic help (and the missing domestic help)and of course, travel 2 -3 weeks a month...I appreciate what my mother used to go through. I cannot even imagine having to bring up a kid in all this chaos, but somehow, she managed!
The mantra that women like us follow now a days is that "we are NOT superwomen". Our mothers never had a choice.
Do you think we should strive to achieve what they seemed to manage so easily? Or should we, as you put it, run to them for help when we can't cope?

Mani Venkitakrishnan said...

The driving force for your mom was different, and the driving force for you is different!
Her parents were more matured who felt that their kids could accomplish everything. So the then kids were groomed for several things at the same time. And that is what made them super humans. Necessity is the mother of invention, and challenges make you strong. Present parents of our generation were made tough through circumstances.

arayans said...

firstly, i dunno if a guy can comment here :)

but yeah, the post made me think. quite a LOT. thanks...

still, i'm not entirely sure that this comparison of generations should occur. Sure, our mother's do seem to have worked a lot more, and i can't ever object to that. Then again, our seemingly-easier lives also have their own burdens. We are expected to be more aware, and better rounded individuals. I sure don't 'work' half as much as my dad did, but sit around for 2 hours or so on many days reading articles and might not be something i can write on a resume, but it sure does make me a better individual.

I just think that, in a way, it's good to be a generation that does not follow the herd-mentality, and can actually think for itself...having free time at hand, is probably a neccessity for that to happen!

A rebel all the way... said...

Came here from twitter.
A nice post, and aptly put. I cannot even dream of working as much as my mom has over the last so many years. As you rightly said, I guess it is a generational thing, and our generation has it very easy tbh.

Uttara said...

Amen to this post!! i really cannot fathom how she or my aunts did it!!and she still does it all !!