It had been a tiring day on Friday and I was looking forward to catching up on my reading in the night over the weekend. Oh, how I look forward to weekends! Done with my dinner, I switched on my smartphone’s Wifi. After browsing through the emails and social media, I was about to log out and wind up for the day when suddenly there was a beep and popup on my messenger. It was my friend, Avni. She lived in another city, and we had been out of touch for almost a decade now. I just knew that she worked with a bank there. We began with our greetings and general exchange of news in each other’s life. Soon, we were joined by other women friends – Harsha, who was a homemaker and lived close to my home; Sanskriti, who was a mom with a toddler and had quit her job after having her baby girl; Laksmi, my maid (she chatted sometimes with me on her son’s smartphone); and Manorama, who was an older aunty now retired and lived in the neighborhood.

Avni: “Hi, Good to chat with you. How old are you kids? Are you working?”

Me: “Hi! Same here. They are 11 and 6. Yes, both inside the house and professionally.”

Avni: “Okay! What do you do professionally?”

Me: “I am a content writer and a blogger.”

Avni: “How come? You are an MBA? What happened, did your break get too long, and you did not get a good job later? You should have never taken a break with kids?”

Me (Irritated but patient): “No, I love this work. I actually prefer to work from home and flexibly. I can be hands on in raising my kids. Yes, I am an MBA but I do enjoy writing a lot.”

Avni: “You know I am the GM now. And my kids are doing good too. I found a nice nanny to take care of them while I could continue with my work. It is very satisfying. I feel elated that I got where I always wanted to get.”

Me: “That’s nice to know. I am very happy for you. And, it might be tough for you to imagine but I love my work and my life as well“. I am quite happy too :).

The others  join the conversation now.

Harsha: “I quite admire how Rachna balances her time, work and home. I for one can never seem to find time to do anything.”

Sanskriti: “Avni, I know what you are saying. I really hate quitting my job. This stupid society – everyone wanted me to have a baby. Look where I have landed – from a high-profile career woman to an unpaid maid servant.”

Lakshmi: “Did someone talk about me? Madam, don’t forget I earn my living working in your houses and have managed to put my son in college. Please do not make fun of my profession.”

Me: “No Lakshmi! We dare not make fun of you. Our houses will not run a day without you. I hope their views will not colour your opinions about me :).

Me: “Thank you Harsha.” Sanskriti: Been there done that, including the frustration part. If you are so unhappy try looking for jobs now that your daughter is older. Were you forced to quit your job?”

Avni: “Come on yaar. You were so bright in college. Who would have thought that you would be just sitting at home minding kids? I am sure your parents must be disappointed.”

Me: “Oh, they are not! Everyone is very happy for me. I think you should be happy for me instead of being cynical. It is my life, and I have chosen to lead it my way.”

Harsha: “I always wanted to be housewife. I know people find it strange but I did. I don’t seek value in earning money but earning love. I like being around for my children. Besides I do try to spend time in pursuing my hobbies. You know I even took up Bharatnatyam learning after my second child.”

Me: “Wow, that is amazing Harsha! I love seeing content people. Everyone cribs — those with jobs and those without them.”

Avni: You guys amuse me. Where is the value in sitting at home and taking money from your husband?

Sanskriti: “You are right, Avni! I hate it that I have to ask my husband for money. He never says no, but I am an independent woman. What the heck!”

Me: “Avni, you amuse me with your thinking. My husband and I are raising a family together. And I am certainly not competing in the ‘Who earns more’ game. I don’t see it as taking. I see it as sharing all our resources that includes love and companionship.”

Me: Sanskriti: Independent women don’t have relationships? Do they not rely on others? Did you have the same qualms accepting money from your parents for your education? Oh no, father is superior to husband?

Lakshmi: “In my house, I earn more than my husband. He has no problems in taking what I earn.”

Avni: “Rachna, You are clearly domesticated. No point in arguing with you. Sanskriti: Let’s keep in touch. And get back to me when you want to look for a job again. I will try to help you. I am signing off now.”

Sanskriti: “Sure. I will.”

Me: “Avni there is nothing to argue about. You are happy with your choices and I am happy with mine. Why can’t we be happy in this knowledge without going judgmental on each other?”

Avni: “Whatever…” (Avni leaves)

Me: “Lakshmi, you work very hard for your family. And look your son is in college now despite an alcoholic husband.”

Manorama joins

Me: “Hi Aunty”

Manorama: “I just finished cooking dinner. My daughter-in-law will be back a little late from work.”

Me: “So nice of you to handle the duties at home.”

Manorama: “I have been a working woman too. I know how much this support matters to our peace of mind.”

Me: “Exactly. A kind word, a helping touch is what women need.”

Sanskriti: “I live in a nuclear family. And my baby sitter keeps taking so many offs. I hate my life.”

Harsha: “I know maids keep taking off without informing. That really upsets our schedule.”

Lakshmi: “Madam, we are made to work 7 days a week. Yet, we do it without complain. One day’s leave and people start complaining and abusing. We have families to run too.”

Manorama: “We give our maid a weekly off and two weeks paid leave every year. We find that she takes very few unscheduled leaves. That helps us plan better and fret lesser.”

All of us: “Kudos to you.”

Lakshmi: “On the topic of intimated leaves, I have to tell you that I need to take an off tomorrow. Have some guests over for lunch. And let me know whether you prefer Saturday or Sunday as the weekly off. With a huge 🙂 she signs off.”

Me: That’s just great!

Suddenly imminent issues are more important than posturing, and the weekend does not look the same anymore!

I sign off.

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61 Thoughts on “Women and their conversations!

  1. It must have been a grand experience especially when you connect up with old friends and that when most unexpected

  2. You brought up some pertinent women’s issues especially the faux choice that they seem to need to make – between home and work. Why faux? Only because, in the end, all of womandom is equally affected by the choices that Lakshmi makes!

    • Absolutely Rickie! And I am delighted that you caught that one. This was a complex post to write. A new style for me and there are so many things that I wanted the reader to catch including a dig at myself and others who posture a lot about freedom of choices but hardly are willing to give the same benefit to those belonging to a lower strata. Of course the conversation and women are realistic and exist in reality. Thanks you for your comment as always.

  3. I work and I feel it is best for a woman to be independent and have her space in patriarchal society.
    But at the same time, I respect women who enjoys her being a house wife. (I too can’t understand why a highly educated woman wants to be a house maker? But if she is happy that way then who am I to ask her to change? :-))
    Happiness is what matters.
    Again, liberated mind does not necessarily mean its owner has to work 🙂

    • I understand Bhavana. And it is not possible to be non-judgmental after all we are human. But, what I find offensive is how people vomit these views to someone’s face caring in the least the hurt that it causes. Maybe, it is their way of feeling happier about themselves :). These conversations very much exist!

  4. Very interesting conversation.But very thought provoking and relevent discussion on women’s issues. The maaid turns out to be the smart one.

  5. I think this is what normally happens while chatting on these chat rooms, most of the time you have to continue with the conversations which you don’t want to get on with….but again, most of them are their to kill their time so they never mind what they are talking about…..but at times its really a “feel good moment” to get in touch with those old friends….isn’t it….???

    • Long time Irfanbhai. Hope you are well. Yes, chats can start harmlessly and can build into explosive conversations just like FB status comments. And it is always fun to connect with old friends.

  6. Interesting dialogues there on relevant issues. Would like to see you experiment with these kinds of more creative forms to dispense gyan even when not writing for contests. Dialogue especially I find a much better form compared to essay. Whereas multiple view points make you look confused in an essay, it seems very natural in a dialogue and at the same time gets the reader thinking,

    • Thank you TF. Yes, I am trying to experiment with different styles of writing. Was apprehensive if every single thing that I wanted to convey will be grasped as well as with the length. Thank you for the feedback.

  7. Nothing like a girly heart to heart to heart. It is a great stress buster.Good luck Rachna.

  8. Typo. One additional “to heart”.

  9. Dagny on June 15, 2013 at 7:44 pm said:

    I don’t see why people are so judgmental. As long as one is content, where is the problem? Different things bring joy to different people. Such bigotry!

    You brought out the mindsets pretty well…. 🙂

  10. That was fun and wisdom combined Rachna . You should do this more often 🙂

  11. Apt representation. You have actually stated one of the many conversations I have had with my working friends over the last 2 years of me being domesticated. I got fed up of their questions and my answers.(That’s why the name of my blog!!)

    I am also MBA and worked for around 8 years before calling it quits.But its no one’s business. I don’t judge working mothers and they don’t have the right to judge me….I am leading a very peaceful, happy and content life, that is what matters!!

    PS: I love the ending 🙂 so true

    • Thank you Sfurti! Oh yes, the conversations are absolutely real :). And, I am glad that women in our tribe are increasing, those with heightened sensitivity to mind their own business and not poke our nose into others’ affairs.

  12. Oh my! That is one lovely chat. I saw your heading and realized that I had not written my entry either. Sorry you maid took off. He he..

  13. Food for thought…anyway, after all it’s each person’s life and it’s up to them to decide how they want to live it. ..:)

  14. The points came out very well in the conversational mode Rachna. Nice article. Every one has different viewpoints, different choices and different reasons for making the choices. One should definitely respect and stop getting all judgemental. I loved your point about ‘If you could accept money from your father, y not from your husband?’ Independance is getting a totally different meaning these days!

  15. I agree with TF-this format is very apt for presenting multifarious views.
    Why do people pass judgments & give unasked advice?People,their aptitudes & circumstances differ -how can anyone decide what is best for someone else?

  16. I’m so impressed by your maid’s thinking, Rachna! What a smart opinionated woman of today’s times!

    That was an interesting conversation with fleeting judgments passed and an array of relevant issues raised 🙂

    • Thank you Deeps! Yes, my maid is extremely patient and a very hardworking lady. I admire her that despite her troubles, she faces life head on with her chin up. And about friends, that is the way women’s conversations steer. And men think we only talk about clothes, jewelry and food, bah :).

  17. I appreciate the fact that you got the maid’s perspective in here. That’s the most commonly overlooked fact in our society and most people take them for granted.

  18. U covered so much and with ease… loved it

  19. The conversations we women have! It’s interesting where we begin and how it meanders through various territories and finally ends up somewhere else. I could see a bit of that happening here. Nice read. 🙂

  20. Rahul on June 17, 2013 at 11:02 am said:

    Interesting conversations around perspectives of modern day women:) Best wishes Rachna, for the contest!

  21. Smita on June 17, 2013 at 11:39 am said:

    What a conversation!!! No one has an easy life…we all struggle and the magic lies in taking that in our stride and also in understanding that kisi ki bhi life is not a bed of rose!!! Everyones struggles and tries to do bets in circumstances hai na?

    • And wouldn’t we expect women to understand that about each other. I know, everyone tries to do best in their situation as you pointed out, Smita. There is hardly any right or wrong there.

  22. A very thoughtful post, Rachna. It is really painful to see how society demand everyone to work. Those lovely ladies raising children are nowhere any less to the working one..

    • Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment and visit, Diwakar. Yes, the society can be cruel but if only the women stood up for each other, it would be so much better.

  23. Nice. I can see shades of Indiblogeshwaris in the conversation – the way it starts, the way it veers off into tangents … smiling

  24. Why we like to be judgmental about other people’s choices is something that always amazes me. Very interesting conversation. All the best.

  25. Ah..the eternal v/s working woman debate. I have been on both sides. As a working woman I had to face barbs from SAHMs who assumed our kids are not well taken care of. And now as a homemaker I am never short on opinions on what to do with my life.

  26. I so agree with Lakshmi barring her taking off for guests 😀 The chat felt so natural and I bet most of us girls can connect with it.

  27. Avni was trying your patience 😀

  28. Interesting conversation Rachna……
    From where it started and where it ended……
    From a single opinion it changed into a blown out chat match……
    Absolutely loved it……….
    Your friend Avni was very opinionated and wasnt even bothering to look at others point of view and only wanted to talk with who were agreeing with her…….:D……

  29. For a change, you aren’t in the already crowded space of people trying to rope in all sorts of celebrities into their WeChat group! Loved that. Down-to-earth group talking of issues that affect us all…

    All the best!

    Arvind Passey
    http://www.passey.info

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