[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!