Mardani 365!

Mardani 365!

Representative image.(Credit: iStockPhoto)

Last year, after Women’s day, a tongue in cheek comment was doing the rounds on WhatsApp. “A woman’s day never ends,” it said. A friend said she took it to mean that in modern times, the celebration of women, never ends.

That observation launched the message chain, #everydaywoman’s day”, in our WhatsApp group. In these nine months, we have shared countless pictures and news stories of women who had raised the bar. Since most of these news stories had been carried in the media we shifted the focus to the little women around us, to observe and celebrate the change that was there to see in their hearts and minds.

About three cubits of flowers donned her hair. With a young man by her side, her ‘newly married’ status was obvious. They were walking ahead of me at the metro station and I noticed her move towards the escalator. He signalled to her and walked towards the stairs. She halted for a second, waved to him and got on the escalator! My palms met for muted applause!

I was on a mofussil transport bus. In the seat across was a couple with their son and daughter both under 8 years of age. The boy took the mobile phone from the father and went on to plug the earphones to his ears. The mother said something to him, gently pulled out the left arm of the earphone from the boy’s ear and plugged it to the right ear of the girl! I smiled and prayed that the parents would always have this sense of fair play.

Six-year-old Neha had written a story about a thirsty bird. The bird flew a long distance and finally found water in a birdbath filled by a girl. “Will you be my pet?” asked the girl. “No,” said the bird. The next day she asked again, “Will you stay in my house?” The bird said “Yes” and was very happy.

Why did the bird say ‘no’ first and ‘yes’ later, I asked. “Because pets are caged,” Neha replied. I was amazed that the child understood the difference between being owned by someone and being someone’s friend.

Babli’s brother showed her the ‘nice’ gift that their uncle had got for his birthday. Since Babli’s birthday was coming up in a week, she approached the uncle directly. “Mama”, she asked cautiously, “will you be buying me a gift?” “Yes,” said the benefactor and went on to ask, “what should I get you?”

Babli pointed to her brother’s gift and said, “same, but different”. Could a grown-up have put across the demand for equal rights while maintaining gender identity, better?

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