Monday, March 15, 2010

Over a cup of Coffee.


"You must be very happy now, I guess", remarked Jeevan, while stirring the Hot Choco Latte that he had ordered and in his eyes that naughty smile, the one he always wore, when he was about to pull someone's legs.

"About what?", replied Sanjana nonchalantly, her eyebrows however raised in curiosity. The evening was calm and breezy, and with all the day's tiring work, probably she didn't mind some of the leg pulling herself.

"You know. It's probably the year of the Women right?. With you guys finally getting 33 percent reservation, getting the Oscars and all. At least the newspapers have been talking a lot about Women Power. What more do you need.?"

"What do you mean? What more do I need? I've not really been asking for any of this. Neither the 33 percent reservation, nor the Oscars. Anyway I don't like war movies.". Sanjana, meanwhile was hard trying to remember the name of the woman director who had won the Oscar. Though not much a cinephile, she didn't want to let Jeevan get the better of her.

"Why? Don't you think the 33 percent reservation will help you ?", started Jeevan. He was rather taken aback by Sanjana's response. He had expected her to rave about these things.

"I believe reservations are an insult to a woman's capability. It is a shame that the country has to pretend that a woman is not privileged enough to grow on her own, and has to rely on reservation to get what she has rightfully deserved all this while". Sanjana sipped her coffee and sat back. She was rather surprised that when she started talking about it, she seemed to be all the more opinionated about the topic.

"Well! I've heard that argument before, but then the truth is now there will be more women representatives in parliament and that means more issues related to Women, will be addressed and probably there will be less instances of WWF inside the parliament", guffawed Jeevan.

"Don't forget there are women wrestlers too." quipped Sanjana, as she joined the laughter. "But seriously, jokes apart there were always women there at the centre of power. How has it really contributed much to the uplifting of women. There could be stricter laws, there could be more provisions and there could be more sensitivity to issues faced by women, but the struggle for a woman begins in her home, in her family, in her neighbourhood and in her society. It is a mindset change that is required, a strong urge and belief that those old norms can be broken and subscription to the belief that woman can be independent thinkers, like I read in a short story shared on Hip Grandma's blog".

"I agree, and probably that is where all this will lead. As a society where women are respected as equal starts to emerge, slowly whatever mindset you're talking about will also be seen, won't it.?. After all, think about it today there are very few families, who don't let their girls complete their education, until they have post graduate degrees in hand. So many young women have independent careers to build upon. It's been sort of difficult for my parents to find a girl for me. They have such huge demands!". Jeevan made an act of serious contemplation about his matrimonial future. Sanjana, tried hard to suppress her laughter in vain.

"Yes and that is where I was also headed. Even today, however learned and educated a woman may be and however promising her career may seem, it is at the mercy of her groom and she ultimately gets to salvage her career, with whatever little accommodations, her man will make for her.". "Not all men are like that", retorted Jeevan. "Many men have also contributed and sacrificed for their wives' careers, like many of the politicians will do now. In their places, their wives will being to rule!". "Proxy rule, you mean", chuckled Sanjana,as the cookies arrived. An ambulance passed by, and Jeevan prayed.

"Hail Jeevan, the mental saviour of wounded souls", mocked Sanjana. Jeevan smiled. " Continuing from where I left men have not always been dismissive of a woman's career." "And yet the old adage that behind every successful woman, there is an unsuccessful husband still rings true", replied Sanjana. "Hmm.. well that's a good one. Let's hope that it will become possible for both wife and husband to become independently successful.". Both of them sipped the coffee and Sanjana snapped a cookie in two.

"Hey wait, I've found a real time example. Aren't both James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow successful in their fields?". Sanjana was so thankful that Jeevan blurted that out and more thankfully she remembered more. "Well true, but they are not married any more. Kathryn worked with Cameron, on many of his previous films, but by the time she made her film they weren't married, is what I heard", stated Sanjana, with an air of victory. Jeevan bit his tongue, but rallied on. "Ok I forgot that, but think about it wouldn't James have contributed to her career too?". "Probably, but ultimately she made it on her own but anyway let's take gender out of the equation there. She made a good film that won an award. The fact that she is a woman is just a coincidence. That's the way I like to look at it.".

"You saw the movie ?", queried Jeevan. "No", she replied. "I thought so.", smirked Jeevan.

It was getting dark, as they stepped out of the coffee shop and headed to the office. "Nothing refreshing like a cup of coffee", remarked Jeevan. "Hmm. So Jeevan, what's the ETA on getting this ship stopper fixed?. We have to start no change testing next week. Ensure that it's done today without fail.", she said.

"Shall be done today, Sanjana", Jeevan replied with a frown getting the message that Sanjana was back to playing the boss. He kept walking as he wondered where he had checked out the code, while the breeze started again and the trees of the IT park whispered into his ears.. "Man or Woman does not matter. All managers are still the same.!".

Pic Courtesy : www.juliaswartz.com