I read / saw, three different stories of women today. There were strong ladies and then there were ladies who were beaten down by the pressures of the society. In one case, I felt sad that I give in to the pressure of the world, when everything that has happened to me shows how lucky I am. I take inspiration from the strong ones. I take lessons from the ones who had it so bad that the only way they found out of the situation was to give up completely.
- Aung San Suu Kyi interview by Financial Times before the election. There are a few things that stand out. Her dignity, her control, the passion that peeps out from beneath the control, her action, the peace on her face. The spirit is undying and she has not allowed it to be crushed. At the same time, you think about how she has sacrificed her life, the life of her family to subject herself to tremendous struggles – all for the cause that she absolutely believes in. I like the way she says:
I don’t think these questions can be answered until years and years have passed. It’s always history that decides – in a way history never decides sometimes – otherwise historians will be out of job…
I am very much in favour of negotiations – I think a lot can be sort out through negotiations. …
- Ambika Pillai: She has been giving several interviews on her life – somehow this stood out more – perhaps because of all the other stories. Her story is somehow close to my life from a proximity perspective. I remember attending her wedding when I was 6 years old. I wonder where she derived her strength from. I wonder what characteristics she had to display to reach where she is. Hard work – no doubt, sacrifice – no doubt. She struggled through her marriage and had the mental strength to get out of it, fight against all odds in a place unfriendly for women, in an industry unfriendly for women. Her parents must have been strong enough to give her the independence to get out and find her own life and own voice.
- The girls in S. Saradakutti’s article:
The girl who did not want her parents to be troubled and committed suicide so they would not be subjected to more demands from her in-laws. The parents who subjected themselves to the asks and followed the norm to be ashamed when they could not meet the demands.
The girl in the Spanish director Louis Bunuel’s story – the one who did not even realize she was a girl until she was told that she is no longer a girl but a woman. The mother who protected her until then and gets into a panic the day the girl gets her periods for the first time.
The parallel of a girl’s marriage to a mouse trap – about it being too late by the time she and her family realize what they have let themselves into.
Of the parents who keep quiet fearing for the consequence for the daughter or who are worried about visiting the daughter for the fear of seeing the unpleasant atmosphere.
Each story has a different shadows and different dimensions – all have stories of women undergoing struggles. Yet, each one’s background is different and the ending is different. I do not think there is an answer. Aung San Suu Kyi’s answer on History spells it out.
I read a criticism of Anees Jung’s writing – she only observes the problems and does not give solutions. Are there solutions that can be prescribed from outside and be implemented? She can report what she sees. By reporting, perhaps she can show lives – she does not pass judgement and does not need to give solution. Only the actor in the play can give the required twist to the story through the actions and the ability to generate the required reaction.