The rise of our modern Lakshmis

The rise of our modern Lakshmis

Not very far from how men are treated if they are without a job, women too are expected to be productive at all times. Albeit with the implication that they can either be working women or baby-making machines, muses Deepa Ballal.

Waking up early in the morning, leaving hearth and home to the office, to a much bigger political arena where everything from what you say, what you own, and what you wear decides your next appraisal, working women no doubt have to be tactful game players.
The kind of independence that it gives, to all, is immense. The joy of even eating a sugar-coated doughnut bought with your dime is more fulfilling than a Roman holiday completely sponsored by your spouse.

Modern Lakshmis

There is a common ritual across Indian cultures - to welcome the daughter-in-law as Goddess Lakshmi. As if their house shall burst with overflowing gold at the kick of the rice bowl by her... But guess what...

It does! The modern-day women are indeed Lakshmis for they bring with them not just the good old dowry, but also their monthly income.

Working woman wanted

Gone are the days when grooms looked for a "life partner" alone. Given the inflation one sees them flocking to marriage bureaus that specialize in churning out proposals of "working women" as prospective brides. Its a tacit requirement in many cases. Fair, slim, educated are the oft used epithets and these days "working" is  appended to the list. An ideal combination for the perfect wedding. But many a times not all these qualities are found in one. The working woman may either be too slim or just too broad at places that the eyes don't like to follow. Nevertheless, beauty comes second. For the financially independent woman wins the race.

Work and home work

There’s work. And then there’s home work. The joys of working are many. But when it’s at home it’s looked down upon, but when in office, it’s hailed. On a holiday, when you receive a call from office and you sit through the con call for hours together, it does become a feather in ones cap and a topic for social conversations as to how hardworking the wife or daughter-in-law is. But when the homemaker calls or receives a call, she earns the tag of being glued to the handset. Lack of recognition in office could be disappointing for it directly translates to the increment one gets, but lack of recognition on the home turf is equally humiliating. The woman who chooses not to "work" or hasn't landed in the right job and is still "looking out" for one does contribute in her own way. But who cares...

Twist in gender equality

A friend’s granny once asked her if she had found a job yet and when she answered no, her granny was quick to retort, “Why not go for your second kid then?"
Being productive in one way or another, irrespective of whether or not it makes sense, these modern goddesses are always under the pressure to perform. Yes it’s the age of gender equality, if one may say so, just as a bride who consciously seeks for a well settled, financially stable spouse as a viable option, the groom too seeks a working woman for a spouse.

Modern musings

The challenges that working women or homemakers face may be same or exponentially different. But the way they are treated... The former as a cash register and the latter as a door mat! Not very different from the way men are treated in similar settings. As said earlier, it’s the age of gender equality.

A friend once said, "In my community, a woman always chooses work over husband. She may leave the husband but never her job!" 

Guess our modern Lakshmis have already taken a cue from this to save themselves from the taunts that otherwise follow.

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