Last week our newspapers and TV channels seem to have suddenly woken up to the fact that there are woman achievers in various fields and were vying with each other to recognize and reward them. And I realized Women’s day is around the corner- the only day when men recognize the fairer sex for their achievements or better put, pretend to recognize!

Like many other women who know that this frenzy wont last long, I begin to wonder what meaning does this day have in the lives of ordinary woman. Whenever I am faced with such questions, life always gives me the answer-somewhere, somehow, the answer lies in wait for me; this time it was no different.

Yesterday, having spent the whole day reading a book, I decide to go out for some shopping, though I dint really know what I wanted to buy! And the public buses were my favorite mode of transport here in pondicherry. Even if my dad offered to drop me in his bike, I would politely refuse, telling that it was my contribution towards reducing global warming, a miniscule contribution though.

As I walk towards the stop I remember how I used to dread going out when I was in Chennai for a year. The footboard travels on the buses which seemed to magically accommodate more and more passengers, jumping in and out of a moving train and the long arguments with the auto drivers to reduce the fares from highly unreasonable to moderately unreasonable were some harrowing experiences I recollect.

I reach my stop and in a few minutes a bus comes to halt in front of me. As I get in I hear a loud female voice telling us to make it fast. I have heard my mom tell me that ‘ladies only’ bus services started in pondy recently, but I never got the chance to travel in one, maybe this time I got lucky. As soon as I get in I look at the front and I see men too! And my lady conductor was busy with the ticket issuing. I just couldn’t take my eyes of her. She was around late twenties or early thirties, married, averagely built brown complexioned, like the kind of women you see selling flowers. She wore a salwar with kakhi shirt over it and showed due respect to the elderly and was stern with the unruly youth.

She was totally at ease commanding the men to produce their tickets if she had a doubt, made them follow the norms and restricted them to the place near the driver, no one was allowed to come beyond the first few seats. She even made a college student forfeit his seat for a woman carrying a baby. At some stops there were men who hesitated to board the bus seeing her and she voiced out allowed that they look at her as if she were a ghost!

From the looks on their face, I understand not many men in our bus are happy, as their masculine ego seems to have taken a beating now that women barged into yet another male dominated front. And the women in our bus seem to share some pride over our conductor and are happy for the peaceful ride in which they dint have to curse any men!

The eternal question with an elusive answer men ask themselves is “What do women really want?” All that a woman really wants for is respect, for men to believe in her abilities and liberty to make her choice. And the main idea behind relationships is woman wanting her man to protect her. But are men really our protectors? ….If it were, who would be there to protect us from?

As my destination nears, I go up to my conductor and tell her that she is doing a wonderful job and thank her. I also add that she is the actual epitome of women’s empowerment and others will take cue from her. She was very happy to hear that and the men around look at me with the typical ‘Big deal!’ expression. Oh men, why does your ego get wounded when a women accomplishes something?



  2. its beautifully written making a note of your experience, the womans new role in society and about the social status of woman.

  3. hey very nice post prasanna enjoyed reading it!!!

  4. I believe in this...women and men are always different......not merely by taking up a role as a bus conductor or driving a car or bike or doing whatever men do the status of woman can improve. By this the angry womanhood just tries to portray that they can do whatever men can do.

    woman have their own special qualities...like the nurturing of love taking care of issues and managing things which they do much better than man. The abilities, character and nature of men and woman are different and only when they compliment each other the society grows.

    And the real social upcoming of a woman can occur only when the sub-urban and rural woman come out of their veil; which of course is still beyond the reach.

    Still education is barred to girl kids in remote India.
    SO change in woman status is required which is first to be initiated by them.
    this woman's day they have to realize the capabilities of their own and they have to strive to reach their goals. no longer the blame can be put on male community.

    woman has to become self determined and has to realize their importance. Today's world is off course different but it has to reach deeper levels.

    Getting married and settling for a life easier anyone can do but to bring out something special it needs real courage.

    lets hope every single woman realize their importance themselves first....cheers Vanni for the post "happy women's day"

  5. @malar:thanks...@rajarajan: no woman wants to spend her life in the kitchen, it's because of the adversities she face that her progress is hampered.Heard the news recently of a man who refused to fly in a plane coz the pilot was a woman? we dont ask for resevations or support, just dont stymie our progress. Yet many women succeed and some give up eventually in the larger interest of their families...

  6. the man must be a sicko...scared of flying actually but he would have turned it up to the woman.
    no prasanna what i am saying every woman should look beyond. Not all poses the will to do something. even the educated independent, working girls has a tendency to marry an NRI an sit uselessly. Marriage and family settlement becomes matter of concern for them.

    Then imagine the status of our village woman they are ready to do the same at 16 years of age. This is true. If the power and will is from within then the situation will definitely change.

    I never believe men pushing woman back least anymore (even if they do so woman can push them harder and move forward). no one is superior to each other. But same way they have their upper hand in their own way. so as i said men and woman should compliment each other

  7. In todays world, women are getting equal opportunity to men (only in urban areas)..
    Look at the rural areas, where women are still ill-treated and education to them is on the decline....Bcoz, of such ill-treatment and female child infanticide, the sex ratio is on the decline in our country..
    Awareness needs to be given in rural areas, as urban areas has developed a lot, with women in high posts almost equal or more than that of men...I appreciate this change in the urban areas, but, when ll the same happen in rural???

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