Today was Karnataka bundh…but I went to work and found quite a few people at work especially the unmarried gals many of them living in PG digs. Over the past two weeks I have met and befriended most of the girls working here. It doesn’t take long for girls to become friends, though I see the opposite in guys. They tend to make a couple of friends within their team or have friends outside the office. Whenever we are, we girls immediately form a group; it is the most natural thing that happens. Soon your problems become theirs and vice versa and we sort of know what is happening in each others life. A married gal would greet another in the morning with a question about her day after she went home, unsolved tiffs with hubby or inlaws or other irritants that would be general knowledge among the gals.
In my last company I was witness to a spate of weddings of my gal colleagues. Most of them marrying with stars in the eyes and then the troubling lightening crash to absolute boredom or irritation with married life within weeks!!! The married gals of course, chuckled with an "I told you so" kind of look.
Today I see a subtle but definite change in the attitude of girls. After living under oppressive and restrictive middle class parents, then tasting freedom and financial independence at PG digs and employment, they are not willing to get back to that kind of lifestyle via marriage. As I write this post four marriages are in the divorce court from my last company and an equal number in this office too. In all these cases, the girls just could not take the pressure of job and housework and realized that they had a choice not to live like this. They had done their best, but when you have lived in a PG/home where food was served on time and all you had to do was make sure you got up in time and reached office in time, they kind of wonder why they have to give up such a lifestyle. The US work culture, lets face it is not conducive to an Indian kind of marriage where the woman does most of the work. And this realization is dawning on girls nowadays. Today gals are taking a good hard look at marriages and what is in it for them. The fact is all of them know what’s in it for them…housework and the onus of looking after another human being. Besides nosey interfering in laws and relations. This is the cold analysis of a marriage from a working gals viewpoint.
The married girls on the other hand, swear that their daughters will not be brought up to believe that marriage is the ultimate goal in a girl’s life. And this generation of girls will soon be upon us and they sure will be very different from this present generation.
Like most oppressed people, the womenfolk of India, at least the younger lot too is beginning to raise their voices and rebel. The world of the Indian gal is in a churn and I for one wonder what this churn will throw up. Will it be embittered feminists or die hard single career girls? No one knows, but the change is underway and what direction it will take depends a lot on the Indian guys.
Will the Indian man rise to the occasion or through his refusal to change make extremists of these girls? The juggernaut of change cannot be stopped but I hope it goes in the right direction.
The ball is in your court dear Indian gentlemen!