Soul sisters

I finished reading “Bridget Jones’ diary 2- The Edge of Reason”. I could identify with the protagonist. Just like I could identify with Ally McBeal and the characters of Sex and the City. I read an article in the newspaper today, about the status of urban, upwardly mobile, independent single women. That’s the one reading BusinessWorld on the bus, the one with a nose ring browsing the high-end mobile phone section, the party animal at the pub on Friday night. We exist in every continent, every culture that allows us access to technology, independence and the right to our own minds. The Modern Woman. I am not alone.

At 26, I’m worldly enough to know how to have my way, how to look good, how to impress and influence. I’m smart enough to have an informed opinion and independent enough to voice it without having to worry too much about what other people think. I also suffer loneliness, guilt, confusion, stress. I lead an unhealthy lifestyle….no exercise, too much of junk food, not enough sleep. Thankfully I don’t smoke that much but well, living in this city is as good as being a chain-smoker.

I worry incessantly about my job and my looks and I think nothing at all about my family. I drift in and out of bad relationships and the only man I can stand for longer than a few days is someone I know I’m ‘just good friends’ with. My conversations with my girlfriends are a chaotic mix of bitching about men, agonizing over our looks, obsessing about our work and complaining about the lack of time, money, clear roads, decent guys, good beauticians and tasty, healthy food. So much for simple living and high thinking.

The generation gap has become an un-bridgeable chasm. At 26 my mother had been married for three years, become a mother and made the transition from the spacious house in downtown Delhi to the cubbyhole flats in suburban Mumbai. She was running a household, tending to a hyperactive preschooler and battling in-law issues. I, on the other hand, have rash-driven through the entire spectrum of bad relationships (abusive, neglectful, power-obssessive, shallow, cheating, rebounds…take your pick), struggled through courses I didn’t want to study, had 4 jobs, quit mysteriously and jumped in and out of crazy split-second decisions. Recently I announced that I was considering moving out. The reaction was explosive to say the least. Amid other things, there was “We are Indians! We don’t do things like that! What did we begrudge you???” I hate this. This having to be the model daughter…the definition just changed from ‘good home-maker’ to ‘smart professional’. All this while not getting the freedom that goes with taking responsibility for one’s life (and others). While still being seen as less-than-complete because I’m single (God, how I hate the word ‘unmarried’ as if being married is the natural state for a 20-something to be and anything else is an aberration)

I have few real friends who are women. The others are all married. Most of them have settled down into matrimonial bliss and the joys of parenthood. Which is fine. I have no objection to anybody being happy. But why are people so insistent that theirs is the only way to live life? Smug Marrieds as Bridget Jones calls it. The few others who manage to be not so smug, seem almost wistful when they look at my life and how carefree they think I am. It’s a bloody catch-22….no peace for my generation.

There’s always work of course. After suffering male chauvinist professors (“Why don’t you stay home and learn to cook, madam?”) and jealous peers (“Opportunist bitch, I bet you slept your way up”), welcome to the world of the Boss Lady. I’m not even going into the horrors of having a female boss. I’m going to be one of them soon.

These issues are big on my mind all the time. Hell, I write a blog about them! There are no answers. Yet, there’s solace in the fact that I’m in good company.

The bitch brigade takes a bow.

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About IdeaSmith

IdeaSmith is the digital doppelganger of Ramya Pandyan (intrepid train-traveller and frequent spouter of post-midnight rhymes and rants). As IdeaSmith she battles obscurity and slays boredom with her stories about men, books, digitalia and Mumbai. She performs live and also blogs, tweets, Instagrams, Facebooks, +G’s, Youtubes and Goodreads all as IdeaSmith. Ramya is a blogger, digital storyteller and spoken word performer. She also runs a forum for aspiring writers called Alphabet Sambar. Tweet-bomb her at @ideasmithy.

Posted on November 27, 2005, in Battle of the sexes, Flying solo, I'm An Indian Woman, Times, they are a-changing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. WOw..thats cool//I love that show gurl..and ya Big B too ..jus coz hes such a snob and never commits and expects her to be around…..Men…

    Ya ..i hear and feel the moving out part..especially for branded Indian girls ///whatever ….hehe cheers

  2. your integrity should see you through life…i have found it to be a very faithful friend…fascinating post…

  3. Interesting reads over here…
    Straight from the heart!!
    Keep it going, lady – the world could sure do with some more people like you.

  4. Hey I love having women bosses. I ask for nothing more. 🙂 And enjoy where you are and what you’re doing right now. And enjoy where you will be and what you’ll do when you’re married too. :-))

  5. Hey there..thanks for the comment on my blog. I like your blogs, they’re very readable and make lots of sense. Why six? Is it the why have one when you can have six thingy?

  6. Demi-godezz: Blurry catch-22, wot?

    Sundar: Dunno if there is integrity here…its more like falling apart at the seams.

    Sameer: Thenk yew:-)

    Aekta: I guess its experience that moulds one’s perceptions…and biases.

    Lahar: Guess it is that….ek se mera kya hoga? 🙂 I took up blogging on a whim and it just grew before I realised. Thanks for coming back, by the way.

  7. hey ideas- u know I had 2 grand aunts (my grandpa’s sisters) who never married. One chose to be a schoolmarm and the other would have liked to, but couldnt find a “broadminded” enough guy to live life with. We r talking 1920’s here and conservative chennai! So u r NOT unique in being unmarried! Married or not, ur identity is Your own made by U! Not a pathetic reflection of what others tell u, u r or ought to be! Blessings.

  8. integrity invariably manifests when we are tearing at our seams…and life pulls us….in conflicting directions…such moments can be personal milestones in evolution….

  9. Yes, even the golden orb has its dark edges.

    As long as we’re absolutely fine living the life we want, guess there shouldn’t be any regrets. 🙂

    Have fun gurl!

  10. XXfactor seems to have gone silent. Lull b4 storm?

  11. Hey, this blog is really happening! It took me quite a while to read through all the answers. I appreciate the idea of tweeting the post so that more readers find it!

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