Woman of the year

Woman of the year

The Man of the Year 2011 could either be Anna Hazare or Anil Kumble. Your choice. Who would be the Woman of the Year ?

Innumerable women have accomplished, achieved and acquired splendid things. Yet, the one who made it to the top in terms of being courageous and gracious is a laboratory assistant.

Her very first disadvantage was the irony of being the daughter of a school teacher who actively deprived her of school education! The fact that neither her mother nor she herself did question his decision to keep her away from school, she admits, was clearly indicative of their combined innocence and ignorance. So, ever since she could stand up and move on her own she has assisted her mother with housework.

Her exuberant life was restrained at 15. A brief marriage to a sot culminated with little happiness, low sustenance, zero inheritance, irresponsible loans and three sons. Having assisted her in widening her capacity for suffering he died unceremoniously. Inspite of his uncharitable treatment she refused to consent to be made a victim of her gender. After a suitable period of mourning she became an employed woman. As Rosalind Miles, a writer says, ‘she showed a baffling inability to learn the lesson of her ‘secondary status.’’ Daksha, whose principal asset is a charming sunbeam smile, believes that happiness is all about offering others what she has to give.

She abhors idleness: thus her life is full of work every waking hour. Between official tasks she copies prose to familiarise herself with Kannada and English alphabets , draws and teaches ‘Rangoli,’ makes cloth mats,runs bank and post office related errands and plays games on her cell phone.
‘Sane’ enough to study the variety of people and ‘odd’ enough to survive it, she has even picked up the usage of English expletives, blissfully unaware of either their meaning or impact.

Frequent visits to temples are explained away rather shyly, as excuses for forbidden picnics! Birthdays and festivals prompt her to distribute home-made sweets to all her colleagues. Her enthusiasm and hospitality has improved the ambiance of coffee and snack sessions. Over the years, her taste in clothes, colours and accessories has evolved.

Her willingness to work combined with the inability to say ‘no’ is a constant cause for expenditure and discomfort. Usually a victim of Schjelderup Ebbe’s ‘pecking order’ she lands up with preposterous tasks. Some time ago she encountered incredulous expressions when she was caught peeling pea pods! Was she catching up with domestic chores at the cost of academic propriety on campus? Realising the gravity of the situation, without dropping names or her guard she said that she was merely helping out a superior with her kitchen responsibilities.

“After all, as a woman if I don’t assist another, how do we stick together?” she countered. Daksha demonstrated a better sense of cooperation and respect for her own ilk than someone from a privileged class. May I nominate this firm believer of sorority the ‘Woman of the year?’

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