Doing a Produnova

With the finesse of a tightrope walker, most women balance their family and work life.

“I am a trained commercial artist and look what I am doing,” my cousin rued as she confidently stroked a pencil on her son’s school project. “It’s nice,” I said pointing towards the meticulous model that lay before me. “Of course, this is what I used to do for a living, remember,” she remarked rather sardonically.

Now married to an army officer, she fastidiously maintains the spacious acco­mmodation allotted to them. This is qu­ite a climb down from her job as an event manager with an eminent sitar maestro. “Oh, these frisky little brats take up all my time,” the young mother gestured towards her two kids. “And at some postings at remote places, you don’t even get a decent domestic help, so where’s the time for anything else?” she asked throwing up her hands in exasperation.

I could empathise with her because having quit a certain newspaper job, I, too, had settled down to the uncertainties of a freelance writer to balance my commitment to my family. Such mom­ents of anguish do hit you sometimes but flexi-hours ensured that I could read out stories to my son when he was small.

The hands-on  approach has paid rich dividends as the boy has grown up to be a voracious reader who loves to devour books. It also meant that I could take time out for his tennis and music classes. Further, it gave me the luxury to enjoy a good book or leisurely attend a music concert. 

“You know, ma, my tuition teacher is a PhD in trigonometry,” my son disclosed one day. Such a highly qualified person taking home tuitions? I guess, that’s her call. Taking care of her elderly in-laws while her husband goes globetrotting on official trips and enjoying short vacations when he is in town is something she cherishes. Further, she balances the act quite well by putting her qualifications to good use and monetarily contributing to the family kitty. 

Giving voice-over to government ads on the audio-visual medium and sometimes also featuring in them keeps another friend happy. “My batch mates are all pursuing doctoral degrees in science and look what a curious turn my life has taken after marriage,” she often remarks.

Augmenting the family income with these recordings along with her artiste husband, she loves to be seen on TV, mouthing those social messages. That makes her a mini celebrity, perhaps, amongst her acquaintances.

Not taking it away from women with regular nine to five jobs, who vault from their personal Produnovas, somersaulting from careers to homes while attempting a perfect landing, these stay-at-home moms,too, are doing an incredible job by keeping themselves relevant both at home and work.

Maintaining such a beautiful balance between family and work with the finesse of a tight-rope walker, these Dipa Karmakars have definitely led to a paradigm shift in the way we perceive women in these times.

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