Monday, May 07, 2007

Article - Fitness / Strength of a Woman

Strength of a Woman

Women’s Day was celebrated. You (and I) learnt of events and interviews concerning a few prominent women who have been in the limelight because of a successful business, vocation or, their popularity on the glamour meter. Newspapers and magazines carried their stories and generally, made a lot of ado.

What these women have made of themselves is indeed noteworthy. Still, there are women out there who are the leading ladies of their families. They nurture, nourish, pamper, scold, and take pride in watching their family flourish. The maid who scrubs the floors of more than half a dozen houses daily just to ensure her kids are fed, clothed and educated - why not celebrate her? That is real and true courage.

It used to be that the woman was the symbol of a beautiful home -- Of warmth, comfort, safety and security. Today with advances in lifestyle and in some ways even adversity, she plays the role of the workingwoman in addition to being the ‘heart of home and hearth’.

Keeping the hearth burning is no mean task and everyone, even men, will vouch for it. Just the day-to-day mundane chores, demand interest and dedication from the lady of the house. Daunting indeed it is, to hold down a demanding job while ensuring three meals are on the table, kids’ homework done and then, dealing with pending domestic issues on the weekend which sometimes, is just a Sunday! It all requires commitment of a very different kind …and a regimented life, no doubt.

A woman’s strength is probably not tangible. It is strength of mind, heart and emotions. Today’s woman is seeking to cover the physical aspect too. She is exercising, dieting, weight-lifting and toning her body to gain energy, boost self-esteem and work off her frustration and depression. What a man can do, a woman can probably do better! Today, even the sky is not the limit! Forget that glass ceiling.

Perhaps even before women pondered over their own potential, the great Tamil poet Bharathiar championed the cause of women and reminded his country about the essence of worshipping her as “Shakthi”. With his fiery verses, he brought an awakening on social issues concerning women, their independence and empowerment and lamented the injustice of relegating her to a lower status in society.

‘Shakthi’ denotes strength and energy -- Every woman has her own personal Everest to climb. The average woman has far more on her plate than her male counterpart in terms of responsibilities. No matter how well and how far a woman has come from the kitchen, her place at home has no substitute. For, nobody can love as a woman can, nobody can nurture like a mother can and no home is complete without a woman at its helm. The real woman is not so much the oomph factor as the warmth factor!

Where does she get all this shakthi? What makes a woman tick? Somebody even felt compelled to make a film titled What Women Want. And Sigmund Freud threw up his hands to say “Despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, I have not been able to answer… the great question that has never been answered: what does a woman want?”

“Elementary!” I say. Just a little love and respect will do it -- Bring on the Shakthi, ladies!


Sujata Tarakesan.

A woman is like a tea bag - you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.
- Eleanor Roosevelt.

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