Sweden

Indian Women and Independence

Point 1 : I didn’t have a better title for this post

Point 2: This post was in the draft mode in an open Chrome window for more than 2 months.

Point 3: A phone call with my cousin made me realize that the post is in draft mode

Few weeks ago I was analyzing the web content, its relevant data and the investments in the TV and digital channels for advertisements. Eventually I ended up watching the old advertisements from India in 90s to reminisce the good old times. Even Lithuanian writer Giedra Radvilavičiūtė agrees with me that Happiness is reminiscing. One thing that was very stark in those ads and even the ads that surface today was men were shown purchasing cars and taking loans for the houses while the women were shown happy in the kitchen and taking care of what goes into family members’ bellies or how white the shirts are. The competition among women wasn’t about who will write better python code but who will produce whiter shirts. Shifting the focus to movies and most of them fail the Mako Mori test ( film should have at least one female character who isn’t supporting a man’s story and she should have her own narrative). Almost all of them were rarely ambitious beyond getting married to someone they loved, no career, nothing. Jewelry is sold under the pseudo emotional statement that it makes a woman happy and having gold is associated with domestic stability. Being in a couple is the only approved way to live.

What else can you expect from the patriarchal, myopic society of India where women have been marginalized for centuries and have played only certain roles in the society barring a few outliers. Few days ago I was at Vasa Museum in Stockholm, a museum of Viking ship from 1626. The ship sank and so did women and men aboard. The women were identified as Beata and Yvla(made up names given by Archaeologists). I learned while sati was the only ‘chaste’ choice for a widow in India, Svenska women enjoyed far higher rights and sort of absolute freedom post the death of their husbands (Beata was probably a widow)

Clearly, we have a long way to go.

 

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A Marathon tale

Yesterday, I ran my first marathon despite not being in best of health.  My body is crying for help. Everything is hurting from hips to knees and from back to toes. I quit running on the 19th mile and walked the remaining distance. If I were alone I wouldn’t have gone for even 10 miles but there is something about the New York’s crowd- it cheers you up and makes you push your limits. I got a cheer when I ran past  east 81st street on 1st avenue – Yorkville, the place where I live. At 19th mile I just sat on the road thinking whether to quit. An old couple who was distributing bananas gave me wet kleenex and a pair of socks for my toes were bleeding. I injured my feet and ankle ,pulled hamstrings and have sore toes but I felt ecstatic.

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I came across the small documentary by ESPN about Joy Johnson , the woman who ran 25 New York marathons. She was 86 and passed away hours after finishing her 25th marathon. She never ran before the age of 59. I am overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and perseverance shown by the great woman.

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An excerpt from the interview of the director of the documentary “I love that she found a passion for running so late in life. At age 59, most people are thinking about retiring and sitting on a beach. She started running and fell in love with something brand new, which is so cool. Most 30-year-olds feel lost if they aren’t on the “right” path. She taught us it’s never too late to try — or fall in love with — a new direction.”

http://espn.go.com/espnw/athletes-life/article/14009608/the-story-86-year-old-woman-ran-25-nyc-marathons

Image Source :   http://www.nytimes.com/news/the-lives-they-lived/2013/12/21/joy-johnson/