I have always held the belief that men and women place the limits on themselves with limiting beliefs and accepting others vision for their life. This is a little more true for women than men, as society is more forgiving of “different” behavior from men, for example, Draupadi is difficult for the society to accept, because she ended up having five husbands due to a bizzare self-imposed rule between the Pandava brothers … But no one bats an eyelid as Krishna marries more than one woman. And Lord Rama’s “one wife promise” is celebrated as something unique but not the expectation that women are to remain a “one husband” wife all the time :):):)
But in every age we have examples of men and women who have lived limitless lives and one of them left us ten days back – Zohra Sehgal. There is a lot written about Zohra Sehgal so am not going to repeat everything but one statement of hers will remain with me. This was during a television interview when she turned 100. She said about her marriage “here I was a flat chested, not beautiful girl to whom this man was proposing marriage and I thought let’s try marriage too … While I had decided that marriage was not for me.” She used slightly different words but the meaning was the same – life was one big experiment and she wanted to try everything … Also she refused to take the limitations that the so-called society placed on her “flat chested, not beautiful”.
Actually more than Zohra Sehgal, we should be celebrating her mother-in-law who welcomed her into their family with a classic statement “when my son has made her the queen of his heart, I will make her the queen of this house”. Wow. Wish I could have met this tall (metaphorically) lady – what a beautiful way to accept your daughter-in-law who was unconventional and “different”. Those who kill in the name of caste or religious differences, the “honor” killings that happen in the barbaric times we live in today should be made to see this interview over and over again. And all the wonderfully bad mother-in-laws out there – learn to love the woman your son loves. She is a woman too, let her spread her wings and become the wind beneath her sails and don’t clip those wings or puncture her confidence.
Zohra Sehgal lived life limitless and the twinkle in her eyes said she was ready for the next thing life threw at her … So stop moping about how difficult or boring your life is, go with the flow, work hard at what you love to do and keep trying different things. My dad would say, you keep doing different things and that keeps boredom away – if you are done cleaning the house, then read something, if you are done reading, go out for a walk, if you are with walking, sleep for sometime, if you have had enough sleep, go meet a friend, and so on … Just move from one thing to the other. In life too – keep trying different things and “LIVE” your life, not the borrowed vision of your life that others have 🙂
Thank you Zohra and your mother-in-law, you make me feel really nice to be a woman and thinking of your zest for life makes me ready to get up and get on with mine. Am not going to say RIP, because both you ladies haven’t really died, you live on !
Categories: For and by a woman