Women are complex creatures, a bundle of emotions and more often than not let their heart make decisions for them. More than all this, what they are is an “enigma”. No one can profess to have an complete understanding of the species called woman. Poets have spent life times trying to unravel this mystery called a woman. And me a mere mortal have found the only way out. Reconcile to it.
At the most you can roll your eyes and grunt. Even that is dangerous if you are dealing with a person in a wrong kinda mood. Whichever way you go, you can never win. No chance. Here is a collection of anecdotes relating to the enigmatic nature of women. Collected from a wide array of people who were despairing of the feminine moods.
When I was young, say in my early teens, I used to have long lovely thick hair. It was my pride. I used to oil it diligently, give it all sort of treatments to nourish it. Indeed I accorded it more respect than I ever did for any of my family members. But my mom (groan groan ) always used to look at the short hep hairdos of my friends and comment on how smart it was, how chic it was, how becoming, how it made them look very “smart”, the result was endless. So I decided to make the ultimate sacrifice at the altar of maternal love. I mean what is a length of hair, however dear to you, compared to a mother’s love? So steeling my heart I went to the beautician’s and came out minus the long length of hair trailing down my back. It all felt very strange but I must admit I liked what it did to my face. And I received the welcome of a prodigal in my house. I was content thinking that now I would bask in my mother’s approval. Alas, I failed to take into account, the inimitable factor called “feminine unpredictability”. Now my Mom spends hours regaling whoever will listen with tales of my long thick hair. How long it was, how thick, how it made me look so smart, how long is so versatile, the list is still endless.
Here is an equally crazy one shared by a friend of mine. She had recently come back from the hostel for the weekend and was knee deep into washing when her grandmother walked in. After silently watching my friend for a few seconds she began to berate her. My poor buddy didn’t know what she had done wrong and could only stare in bewilderment at the volley of words being directed at her. Finally mustering enough courage she asked timidly, “but Nani (grandma) what did I do wrong?” The old lady was getting all fraught up by now “Wrong? you ask me what you did wrong? The way you work. It is all wrong. No charm, no grace and worst of all no method. Don’t you realize that you have to sort the dresses neatly and then put them in the washing machine. the way you just throw them! It is disgraceful, I say. In my days we used to neatly sort them into sarees and blouses and then wash them. The manner in which you throw your jeans with your salwar, it is scandalous. “ My poor friend was getting more and more puzzled by the minute, Sort the laundry before throwing it in the machine? It didn’t make any sense. When my friend ventured this opinion, all she got was “Sense? Hmmph, The girls these days! They want reasons for everything. In my days it was enough if an elder told us what to do and what not to do. it was enough for us to do their bidding. We never asked questions. We were never disrespectful...........” and the sermon turned to the disrespectfulness of the young.
And here is a one, a friend of mine told me about a girl he was affianced to. On their first date after they were formally engaged, my friend in an attempt to woo his beloved took her to the fanciest restaurant in the city. He even borrowed a jazzy sports car belonging to a friend to transport her there. She seemed very pleased and my friend was secretly congratulating himself on a deed done well. Late in the night, when he dropped her home, they dallied for a moment in the car. Then my friend’s fiancée looked into his eyes and murmured “Darling I love every bit of you. You are perfect. I wouldn’t dream of changing anything about you. I just wish you wouldn’t spend so much on frivolous things as jazzy restaurants and sports cars. And yes, you must dress a bit more soberly, that bright shirt really makes you look absurd (now my friend was very proud of his dress sense and the way he could carry off the latest fad of bright and colorful clothing). I wish you wouldn’t do that. But really I love you as you are, Don’t change, just don’t do this things and oh ya, do you have to smoke so much. it affects my lungs and can’t you speak a bit just a little bit softly?” To this day my friend doesn’t know what she wants him to do. To become as she wants or remain as “perfect” as he already is.
This one refers to an idiosyncrasy of an aunt. Now this is a cleanliness freak and believes in the dictum “Cleanliness is next to godliness” to a T. She buys sofas that are the rage in the market but woe betide anyone who dares to sit on them. She accuses them of spoiling the sofa and dirtying the linen. In their house sofa covers are covered once again with an old bed sheet. New carpets have a older one covering them (to bear the brunt of wear and tear) and the absolute topping. ............... She makes it a point to clean the house before the servant maid arrives (“Oh! How can I let her see the house in such an absolute mess)
This one is an absolute topper on the unpredictability of women, mothers in particular. Sometime in my teens, I got it into my head that all I wanted to be was a writer. Write and write till I get published was my motto. I dreamt of some big time publisher reading my work and offering me a five year publishing contract. then life would be as I wanted it to be. My mother (naturally) was dead against the idea. “Do something to earn your keep and then do all you please” was her plea. But with the adamancy of teens all I found her comments were merely a minor obstacle on my path to success, After all where does someone who has the dreams of being a writer in the league of John Grisham or Danielle Steel (I hadn’t decided exactly what kind of novels I wanted to write, so kept my choice wide, after all you can't predict inspiration) have the time to bother about the laws of gravitation or probability laws? So I wrote diligently heedless of the obstacles in my path and took my work to an English professor in my college. He merely gave it a look and said curtly “Forget it. You can never be a poetess. You just don’t have it in you” Little did he realize that eh was crushing all my dreams with half a dozen words. I walked numbly out still clutching all my poems to my bosom. I was still dazed when I reached home. My mother saw at a glance that something was wrong and was determined to get it out of me (these Momsssssssssss!).
Not expecting any understanding from her I blurted out my story in a mechanical manner. Finally the dam burst. I yelled at my Mom, “So are you happy? You won after all! I shall never be a writer. Sir said so. he says I have no chance. Now I will slog in a filthy office as you always wanted me to” My mom digested all this in silence then slowly placed her hand in my shoulder and gathered me close to her “My poor baby. I was never against your becoming a writer. I just wanted you to have a haven to escape to, in case things went wrong. And forget what your Sir said, he isn’t infallible. Listen we will send it to some magazine tomorrow, Maybe.. no surely they will accept it. you have to try. You can’t expect success at the first step. After all don't you know all the famous writers struggled in the beginning? We will send it to some magazine tomorrow and wait for a reply”. But I was too dejected to listen. I shook my head wearily “ No Mom. I am no good. When even my professor didn’t like it, how will the editors of a magazine like it? It is no use” and I fled to my room and locked myself in. But my Mom wasn’t one to give up, She bullied my brother into taking a neat printout of my poems and sent them to Women’s Era. And all of them were accepted. The day I received my first cheque I realized never in a thousand years would I understand my Mom. For the woman who had cautioned me against having impossible dreams was sharing tears of joy with me. And I am still trying to figure her out, In one breath she accuses me of spending too much time writing while the next minute she boasts to my brother of what a “celebrity” her daughter is , how she always knew she would make it and so on
These women, you can never understand them. Loving one moment, antagonistic the next. Encouraging one minute and critical the next. Never in a million years can you claim to understand them, but it is fun trying