Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Unthinkable...

[In reply to Mr. Chetan Bhagat's advice to women: blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/The-underage-optimist/entry/five-things-women-need-to-change-about-themselves]

Now that the first attempt at something "unthinkable" has been made, let me try my hand at it - by trying to tell men that they might just be wrong. This is not a pretty article, so if you are looking for a lighter read, perhaps you will find a copy of "Two States" lying around somewhere. This article is my reply to the five things Mr. Bhagat suggests women to change about themselves. My reply, not as a woman, but as a rational individual:

Mr. Bhagat suggests that women need to stop judging other women. I completely agree with this. In fact, they should also stop judging men, their kids, others' kids, the clothes in Paris Fashion Week and the quality of rice bought at the supermarket. Men should also not judge women, other men, their kids, others' kids, the Kawasaki Ninja and football passes. Won't that be a nice and comfy world to live in!?  Give me a man who has never judged anyone or anything in his life (professional judges, please don't take this personally), and I will accept his advice to humanity on the matter. Mr. Bhagat, whose description of 'Dean Cherian' closely resembles that of a bulldog, does not strike me as such a person.

Now, where do I even begin on the faking issue! Well, as a disclaimer, I love to fake. I was told it is called being grown up. It appears, however, that women tend to commit the serious crimes of laughing at men's jokes even if they are not funny and dumb-ing themselves down for guys. Now, how many men do I know who fake it right , left and center to improve their chances with a girl? I'll leave that question hanging...
Women also tend to accept a raw deal at work easier than men, it appears. It is called being professional, Sir! You might not like to hear it, but perhaps those women are tougher than the men around. They might not be the fake bitches you make them out to be. (It should be noted here that I, personally,do not agree with this generalization  of women accepting raw deals in the least.)

On the issue of women refusing property rights (the only serious issue in the article, according to me), I agree with Mr. Bhagat that women need to stand up for their own rights. However, the usual reason for women to avoid property disputes is domestic discord. Blaming society might be  cliche, but, in ours, women always support their men in their property related disputes, but not vice-versa. The supportive husband says, "forget your dad's property, we have enough as it is!" The loving father says, "forget your alimony, I can support my daughter!" I have rarely seen a woman who has given up her property rights when at least some of her family has supported her. But to choose domestic peace over a few acres of land - isn't that a sign of foresight?

Then there are the dreams! Those dreams that are never big enough, never great enough, never worth fighting for...to anyone but the dreamer. Truth is, nobody needs someone else to tell them what their dreams should be. Mr. Bhagat, in spite of his ability to reduce life at an IIT to a bollywood-ish romantic comedy, does not get to dictate the dreams of the women of India. An ambition of having your two healthy kids tell you how much they liked the lunch you packed for them is no less precious than that of becoming the CEO of Yahoo! The question is: Can you respect one as much as the other, and ensure you do your bit to support a woman in achieving her dreams, irrespective of what they are?

Mr. Bhagat's last advice, however, is one I wholeheartedly support. Never be too caught up in the drama of relationships. This advice, I'll re-iterate, for both men and women to understand (no, I do not think women need this advice more than men).  Any relationship,with anyone but yourself, is not worth having if it takes that much effort and causes that much distress. Relationships, like Mr. Bhagat says, are important and should be valued. However, they are there to help you get through everything else with a smile upon your face. It is not worth it to protect a relationship that constantly keeps costing you that smile. Get over it! Move on! Live your life, this is your only chance at it!


  1. As always...loved the article! Women are better off without the advices of "wise" men (creatures with the underdeveloped Y chromosome)!

  2. This post is so much better than the one Mr. Bhagat wrote. :)

  3. @Pratiti: I can always count on you to share my point of view :)
    @Blogmaster: Now that's a compliment I'll remember!

  4. Well said, Tiyasho! I don't think Chetan uncle gave what he was saying too much thought from the perspective of "Does a guy also do this?". :)

    1. Calling him Chetan uncle makes you feel all young, doesn't it Zoo? :P

  5. Straight to the point and well written!

  6. It has opened a perspective for me as well. Thanks for writing!

  7. I have read it late, but found it too delicious a topic to not comment. Well, given that I am a male species, had there been a woman in my life now, what say would I have to her as well as myself?

    (1)Judging: Practise not making superficial judgments out of ego or jealousy or to get cheap appreciation from peers. There is a definite reason why a person appears or acts in a certain way; an honest attempt to figure the reason out always makes us happier.

    (2)Faking: It anyway causes a lot of stress, so nobody fakes unless the necessity demands. As long as you can remain calm, or it does not hurt someone you really care for, to me it is perfectly acceptable.

    (3)Property Rights: Women, the right is yours; nobody on earth can force you to leave it for somebody else, unless it is your own willful choice. To avoid domestic hostility, involve everyone else to give opinions so as what to do with the property once you get hold of the same, but as the rightful property owner, take the final call yourself.

    (4)Dreams: Dreams are too subjective to be tagged as 'small' or 'big'. What matters is whether a dream benefits the society, and whether you work hard to achieve it. God helps those who help themselves!

    (5)Relationships: The life is yours, so if you ever have to pick between career and family, trust yourself and decide. This is too personal a choice, and I will support you my level best no matter what you choose.

    Easier said than done, but I think these are what we should do, and except for (3), rest are applicable to both genders. One last point: respect for the opposite gender is a must!

    1. That is very insightful! Why don't you consider an addition to your blog on a related subject. You will do the topic so much justice :)

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