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Cotton Sarees, wrinkles and unabashed grins

The Official day of Womanhood is here again. There are offers, discounts and deals everywhere and each one is promising a unique experience. Women empowerment is the talk of the day and the ferocious feminism is the favorite flavor. But I think of something else today. In the glaring reality of increasing crime against woman and rampant cries for women safety which make every woman think at least once “Gosh, I wish I was not born a woman”, I like to think of all the good things about womanhood (dire optimist that I am). And you know what I think of today? I think women make the world beautiful. Hadn’t there been women, the place would have been so….”non-beautiful”. And when I say beautiful, I don’t mean the award winning, oh so perfect, always camera ready fair and lovely beautiful women (pardon the sarcasm here). I refer to the beautiful women in simple creased cotton sarees, some of them with wrinkles, some with forced sun tan but all grinning unabashedly in spite of the hardships and all the negativity around them.

Women’s day is about celebrating womanhood in every form. That bhajiwali who carries the basket (which weighs as much as her own weight) on her head, the maid who takes an extra “jhadu-pocha” job to send her kids to English medium school or the petrol pump attendant filling fuels in cars of those headed to “international women’s day celebrations”. The carefully matched accessories along with floral print sarees even when they go about with their “not so perfect” jobs make them look so colorful and vibrant. I find them exceptionally beautiful. Similarly, ever noticed a group of older women with good amount of white in their hair (i don’t only mean the age-defining white streaks but the fragrant mogra “gajra” also) laughing ear to ear. Their toothless grins seem to have a better shine than the sunlight. Priceless. Anybody can look beautiful in designer clothes and expensive makeup, but as cliché as it may sound, beauty comes from within. And it certainly does lie in the eye of the beholder.

Though I believe womanhood cannot be limited to one day, I also find it important to acknowledge their efforts and the value these incredible women bring to the world. On this International Women’s Day, my salute to all those “beautiful” women in our lives and out there who make the world really beautiful. And somewhere down deep, I also believe that it is this eternal beauty of womanhood that creates a sustainable balance against all the malice in the world. So let’s go ahead and make this day an excuse to celebrate being Woman. Proudly !!

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