Women’s Day, Bored Wife and English Vinglish #MondayMusings

Last week was Women’s Day. A friend of mine called early in the morning and said excitedly “Hey, Happy Women’s Day. Let’s catch up for lunch and then go for a hair spa. Everywhere they have given a discount for Women’s day.”

I have done my M.Phil in Women’s Studies and I was dying to tell her the actual history of Women’s Day.  I wanted to scream that Women’s Day is not about Spa Discounts and Buffet Lunches. It is about women’s struggle against the pathetic working conditions in garment factories. It is about women’s right to vote and to hold public office. It is about ‘Bread and Peace’ where women took out rallies in Socialist Russia to express solidarity against the menace of World War I. Men were dying in the war and women and children were dying of hunger because women were not allowed to work and earn. Therefore, women took out rallies to fight for their right to earn bread and world peace.

However, nowadays there is no difference between Women’s day and Valentine’s Day. The Socialist revolution of women has been usurped by the mechanism of consumerism to promote products. Today, Women’s Day stands for the very things that women protested against. I am sure after knowing the history of Women’s day one would feel ashamed to take a spa discount. However, in this age of social media, we just love to do stupid stuff.


That reminds me of an old friend of mine, whom I met a few days back. Both of us felt super excited meeting each other after almost 10 years. She looked gorgeous; she still looked like she was in her twenties. We sat down and started talking and reminiscing college days, soon the discussion turned towards our present life. She said she was extremely happy. Her husband loved her a lot and tolerates all her tantrums and buys her lots of clothes and make-up. Her husband travels a lot, the kids go to school, she has a cook, one live-in maid and two other part-time maids, therefore she doesn’t really have much work at home throughout the day as everything is taken care by her staff. She spends her time either by watching television or shopping. She is part of a couple of kitty groups where she spends some time chatting.

Even though in college we both had humble lives, I understood that her life was far too comfortable now. She then added with a glint of sadness in her eyes that she felt bored having not much to do.  I suggested that maybe she can take up a job to utilise her time. To this, her prompt reply was ‘I don’t need money, my husband earns a lot.’ I then suggested that maybe she can do some charity work. To this, her reply was ‘my husband wouldn’t allow me.’ I suggested that she can join a library and start reading books. She said she was not fond of reading.  I then said that maybe she can pursue some hobby. To this, she burst out laughing that her only hobby was shopping and she does that whenever she gets time. Honestly, I ran out of suggestion.

Couple of week’s back we lost India’s first superstar actress Sridevi. When Sridevi was at the helm of her career, I was quite small to watch her movies. By the time I grew up and started watching movies, she had gone on a sabbatical. Therefore the first movie that I watched of Sridevi in the theatre was “English Vinglish”. I became her fan the moment I saw the movie. In the movie, Sridevi’s character Sashi Godbole was a simple housewife who was weak in English. But she took everything in her stride to learn the language overcoming all hurdles. She was such a self-dependent woman that she even paid the fees of her English classes with her own money that she had saved by selling home-made laddoos. Sashi was not merely a housewife wasting time watching soap operas but she was an Entrepreneur in her own rights who had a vision and dream in life.

English Vinglish

There is no harm in being a house-wife. I was also a house-wife at one point. There are numerous women who choose to become a house-wife. But being a ‘bored housewife’ shouldn’t be a choice. My post is perhaps sounding judgemental. I shouldn’t be judging my friend without stepping in her shoes. Maybe, she is genuinely happy doing whatever she is doing. Maybe she is in an abusive relationship and her controlling husband doesn’t allow her to do anything. Or maybe her only dream in life was to get married to a rich man and live a life of luxury eating, shopping to heart’s content and having fun. And, worse maybe I am jealous that while my friend is living a life of luxury I have to work hard throughout the day. The options are multiple. However, I feel that irrespective of being a woman or man one should try to do some work or pursue some hobby.  I really want my friend to do something meaningful like Sashi Godbole instead of getting bored watching Hindi serials.


Linking this post to #MondayMusings hosted by dear Corinne

and #mglinkup hosted by Mac.




Monday Stumble Linky



18 thoughts on “Women’s Day, Bored Wife and English Vinglish #MondayMusings

  1. Meena says:

    Such a well written piece Balaka. What you say is so true. I am a home-maker. And I am proud of it. I gave up a career for my kids and they have turned out to be gems. I take intense pride in that. Now, I spend my time taking care of my family and pursuing my hobbies of writing, painting and yoga. Hats off to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Untraveled Routes says:

    What a beautiful post! I’m a stay at home mum and I proudly say that I gave up my career for my baby. And I don’t regret it for my baby is more important than money I earn, for every moment I want to be with him, see him evolve and live the moment. And not leave my baby to nanny and house to maid. Being a woman is so much more than just celebrating a day at spas or having kitty parties.
    Cheers, Charu


  3. Modern Gypsy says:

    This is such a wonderful piece of writing, Balaka. Women’s Day has become just another day “sales day”. Women have forgotten (perhaps some don’t even know) the roots of Women’s Day and the fight against inequality. Especially in our urban, comfortable lives, it’s easy to forget that there are a lot of women in our own backyard who still have to fight for their basic rights. As for your thoughts about your friend, I do agree with you. I think everyone should have a hobby, something to give their life meaning beyond just shopping and TV soaps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Balaka says:

      I am happy that you agree with me. I really like the way you expressed your thoughts in the comment. I am happy that there are people like you who understand the real issue. Thank you so much


  4. Aesha says:

    Some women do enjoy shopping and ”doing nothing”, and some dont. So yes, you are right we shouldnt be judgemental. Having said that, I absolutely agree with you, one needs to make productive use of time. Also I dont understand why going to work is only associated with need for money. It could be a need to express ourselves, need to feel independent, need to be empowered, need to utilise time productively, need to learn something new. Anyways I can go on and on .. but I too wish your friend does take up some hobby.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Balaka says:

      Exactly my views Aesha, going out to work is not only about earning money, it is to utilize our education, skills and an willingness to do something productive or creative..but in most conservative households you will hear this “ghar ki bahu ko paisa kamane ki kya zaroorat hai? or the husband asking “Am I not earning enough?”
      Thanks for this great comment..it feels to meet people who think alike.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder says:

    I know I’m sounding way more judgemental than you, but I just can’t tolerate this concept of “marrying a rich man and living a life of doing nothing”! Such women do exist. They study, they dress-up, they learn singing only for the sake of getting a “suitable boy”. Because of this mentality, we have to tolerate those dumb misogynist jokes shared over the internet. There’s nothing wrong with getting married or seeking a rich groom or becoming a housewife, but the point is, in the midst of all these, why should they lose their individual identity? You ask them, and immediately you’re labelled as ‘jealous’… khub baaje laage, jaano toh, saree-goyna aar shopping aar swashuri ninda chhaRa eder aar kono topic nei. Purono bondhu hole, kichhu bola-o jaayna kintu newa-o jaayna… 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Balaka says:

      Uffff…Tumi ekdam Amar gayer jhaal ta k outlet dile.. post r ektu politically correct thakte hay😜😜😜 but asole jh*** jole Jai eder dekhle…and you are true…eder janyai oi misogynist jokes tolerate Korte hay..😘😘😘 eta dilam moner mil er janya


  6. the bespectacled mother says:

    I went through all the comments above, some I agreed with, with a few I did not. Everything is consumerism these days. When festivals come, it becomes a great deal about what to gift people to the extent of bloggers devoting posts after posts on the gift suggestions. When Valentine’s Day comes, it is about what special (gift or event) you or your spouse/boyfriend did for you. In the north, Karva Chauth is another one big sho-shaa for the women. Traditionally a festival about wishing long life for the (provider) husband has got reduced to “tere pati ne tujhe kya gift diya”. One of my friend used to nag me every year with this question irking me. I never got any gift on any day and neither I was looking for it or asked for anything. I earned well and I could buy for myself whatever was in my budget. Coming back to your post, women’s day has got to be on the same lines, undoubtedly. In my opinion, if we the housewives can do nothing better hobbies or no hobbies, we can at least uplift the other women with our thoughts. Par hum to sochte bhi to wahi hain tabhi to wo baatein karte hain – kapde, gehne, make-up which is also fine until we start disecting others on these parameters. I have got first-hand disection of Sridevi’s dead body’s make up. How was I even standing there listening to it, can’t even imagine.
    English Vinglish came at a time when I had given up my career to become a housewife. Shashi gave me the dream that being a housewife I did not have to end up like my mother (who constantly told me at that time kuch saalon ke liye padna likhna chod do aur bachha paal lo). I took to writing and blogging which is not a part of me but ME. I believe this is happiness. Yesterday I was wondering I have so much to do on my hand these days and yet when I go down every evening I am having heart felt laughters.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s