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Prof. Shubha Tiwari Bookmark and Share

Ladies often seek my advice. It is true that I get involved as I listen. I cannot help but being involved. That is the way I am. However, I do feel the emotional burden. It is part of being a Professor and if I may so, a good Professor. Three cases stand out in recent memory. A girl who got posted in an interior region of Madhya Pradesh and was being harassed by boss. A guest faculty teaching in a college who was unhappy about her domestic conditions. And another guest faculty whose husband drank too much and whose in-laws abused her and disliked her.

The case of the girl was rather simple. I have seen many such cases. This robust young girl was lucky to get a government job as a computer operator. Her classmates envied her for her success. She joined at a remote divisional headquarter. She started receiving salary. She started sending part of her income to her needy mother here at Rewa. Things looked rosy for this student. I was happy. Then she rang me one evening and started crying, "Ma'am, boss tang karta hai." (Ma'am, my boss tries to harass me.)

The boss sent her personal messages and when she did not respond, he gave her odd shifts, stared and passed comments. She was genuinely disturbed. What advice to give in such a situation? I told her to hold her courage while I try to get her transferred somewhere near Rewa. A confident and wise girl, she held the front courageously. Her case was solved with help from friends and family.

The second case was that of an unhappy lady who was burdened with a dumb husband and two lovely kids, living in a joint family of three brothers, their wives, children, and of course parents in law. I do not know if I am biased but I do see many worthy women with hopeless husbands. Is there a quality deficit among Indian men. That cannot be true. There are dumb women also. Somehow, even dumb women have sensitivity. I do not know. This lady in her mid-thirties was married to a boy who was about to qualify for CA. Now it is ten years and he is still about to qualify. I tell parents never to marry their child on promises and prospects. Never. Unless of course, parents themselves want to get rid of their daughter anyhow. I am someone who definitely doubts the intentions of parents. I do not think that being a parent makes you above scrutiny. Many parents do discriminate among children and sometimes take malicious decisions. This woman was so unhappy. While we were up and about some professional work, tears started rolling down her eyes. I was there. Another lady Professor was there. We inquired as to what was the problem. She was defensive about her husband. She did not want to say anything against him. Good sign. But then, what was the problem if the husband was with her.

The elder brother of the husband was against her going out for job. He doubted her conduct. There was financial problem. The husband had failed CA paper the tenth time. There was little space in the house. Kids were growing. Needs were growing. Her scanty salary as a guest faculty was not enough.

What advice to give in such a situation?  I told her what I tell everybody. "You are not allowed to be weak. Adults have their own world and experiences. But mother is the world of the growing children. If you are unhappy, your children will be infected with sorrow. Do you want that? Be strong. Be brave. Laugh. Laugh unnecessarily. Tire out life before it tires you. Save. Be financially strong as much as possible. Garner support from all possible well-meaning people in your life, parents, siblings, friends. Do not dwell much on future. Focus on the happiness of the moment. Be conscientious. Do not fall for cheap, wrong things. Being brave means being good. Educate your children."

What else could I say.

The third case was the most difficult one.

This young lady again with two lovely kids has been known to me for the past three decades. I have known her since she was in high school. So apart from the official position of Professor, Dean etc, I am her Aunty. That does not make things easy.

Her husband drinks excessively. He has had a huge cardiac arrest some years back. Yet he drinks. And eats. Eats what... Spicy, oily chicken, mutton, namkeen and what not. He does not listen to her and perhaps doubts her conduct as well. Parents in law do not support her. They abuse her. They dislike her. Some years back, her brother in law had died under certain tragic circumstances and mother in law somehow blames her for that. Too much for me. And yet, the girl cries, and wants to be soothed. Exhausted, apart from my usual, Be Strong lecture, I lastly tell her, "Leave him."

I do not know whether I am right or wrong. Life is too short to be lived in misery. Everyone deserves to laugh and be happy. Sitting on my bed, deep into the night, I wonder on how many sighs and tears of Indian woman, this society, this family structure stands. Indian family functions because women suffer silently. Repression of desires is what makes and marks the life of Indian women. I have no solution.

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Comments on this Blog

Comment Your mother has given you precious advice. The first worship, the first duty is to be happy. Without that inner joy, whatever we do is futile. Always, keep smiling. And I know that you are a brave girl.

Doctor Sahab is right. Every Indian woman ought to be trained in assertiveness.

Prof. Shubha Tiwari
01/18/2020 08:33 AM

Comment "I wonder on how many sighs and tears of Indian woman, this society, this family structure stands. Indian family functions because women suffer silently."
These lines!!
Harsh reality of Indian women. When i finished reading your piece, first thing I thought is "I'm so lucky, I got parents like maa and papa" they're my support system. Always encouraging me to be better in lifeā¤
And mumma always told me one thing "sbse badi punji jeevan ki sukh hai, agar sukh nai hai to koi bhi kaam vyarth hai"

Pratishtha Singh
01/18/2020 02:22 AM

Comment Being able to assert one's rights without feeling guilty is a valuable skill for all, especially Indian women.

01/18/2020 01:43 AM

Comment Why always a daughter,wife,mother become victim ..their is not a single place on earth which is safe for girls either it is workplace or home ..Their should be a warrior inside of every women who can take stand for her own happiness...And defeat the bad one by her single smile ....

Sakshi Tripathi
01/17/2020 22:56 PM

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