As I came back home after college for a while to relax before I could take up a job and get busy with the drudgery of everyday life, I got excited about having a television to myself, a luxury students can hardly afford living away from home. With tens of channels available, you’re sometimes spoilt for choice.
While I often had trouble choosing what channel I wanted to watch owing to the daily soaps and reality shows that didn’t suit my taste, I noticed that my mother knew exactly what channel she wanted to watch and at what time.
Seeing her watch absolutely senseless daily soaps and reality shows that held no meaning beyond a point, I was taken aback. I pulled out a set of books from my personal collection of books and handed them over to her, asking her to read something that made sense instead of filling her mind with nonsense. She gracefully accepted the books and promised me to indulge in them in order to keep her mind occupied, since she’s pretty much facing the post-retirement phase with the kids having moved out of the house leaving her with little to do all day.
A week passed by and to my utter shock she had hardly read a story or two from the huge stack on the bedroom table, and had been consistently watching none other than the now infamous ‘Bigg Boss’. While the sudden realization of how she had come to love the show made me furious considering the sheer garbage that the show is, but the very next moment I was taken over by worry. How could I let her watch something that had nothing to offer in terms of meaning or message.
It led me to stop her right then, talking to her about how she’s just wasting her time and energy on something so useless. But as soon as I stepped ahead something stopped me. I looked at her, and noticed a wide smile on her face. She was smiling watching the show. And I could sense that this small TV show that the elite part of the society we live in abhors, made my mother happy.
I stopped right there, turned around and went on to mind my own business. It was then that I realized that this was probably one of the very few times in her life that she listened to her heart and did what she really wanted to without giving in to the pressures of her family.
Isn’t that what most women do? Ever since they come into the world, they’re told what they can do and what they cannot, what they should do and what they should not, and more often than not they abide by every single rule set out for them by their family and by the society.
It’s time we give our women the freedom to choose what they really wish to do for their lives, with their lives. Watching a show that you like isn’t a big deal. But choosing to stick to something just because you like it, despite the many objections from everybody around, after years of having been conditioned to take commands, makes it a big deal. For once in her life she chose to do what her heart said. For once in her life she chose to do what she loves, against what the world around told her is good for her.
I’m proud of her.
It’s time we give women the chance to make someone proud.