Monday, June 12, 2006

Women - now and then

I was in my office today evening scrambling to go pick up my son from his daycare when a colleague ran up to my cube hissing and panting and shaking. She was visibly terrified and looking for help. In the spurt of the moment, for no apparent reason, I somehow assumed that a disgruntled former employee was inside the building chasing her down with a Kalashnikov. She looked so scared and clueless that for a flash moment I panicked myself, and began to crawl under my desk. Then as if being poked with an invisible needle of shame, I felt the need to at least fake some chivalry. After all, what are the chances of any women, let alone a beautiful semi blond co-worker coming to me begging for help. I felt a sudden inrush of testosterone. I collected myself, pulled out a thick power cord dangling from above my desk, and jumped out in to the line of fire ready to strangle the disgruntled former employee with a Kalashnikov. Seeing my strange kalari-payattu pose, she looked at me, with a dirty hesitating glance of pleading and repugnance.

It turned out that she had a cockroach in her cubicle. She is not alone, most women these days are afraid of anything but their husbands. My wife will collapse in a jiffy at the sight of a cat, specially those black ones with shiny green eyes. I had a friend whose bitter half almost called 911 one day, to report a spider. I wish my grandmother could come and teach these women what courage is. Man, is she a strong woman?



I may be 10 years old, at my grandmothers’ home for my summer vacation. She is quite old and almost half blind with a pretty thick pair of soda glasses. Her backyard had dense vegetation mostly from arrow roots (koova) and tapioca plants. One day, we were playing inside; when we heard a loud shrill. She was in the back yard harvesting arrow-roots when a big snake lashed at her from between the plants. The poor snake must have been out of it’s mind or new to the area, for it was certain he didn’t know my achamma well. Man, she crushed it’s head with a log of fire wood. The loud sound we heard was the snake screaming "Yentammooooo". Achamma called out to my uncle to bury the perpetrator. My uncle looked at the corpse and shouted “Amma, that’s a ‘chena-thandan’!!! It could have killed you.”
“Don’t worry, It wont kill you NOW!." Achamma replied in a serious tone. For a quick moment she looked more mean that the mean snake itself. That was how old women were like; I think that is how women were meant to be.


Blogger Brijesh said...

I feel more than fear it has become a style these days. If u r a girl u r meant to atlest show that u r afraid of spiders, cats, dogs etc etc.

In this era of fast food life one may not be able to find a women like you ammumma.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Bhagya said...

Guys.. What are you talking about? Its just the dainty woman you are talking about.. sorry you have not met real women from today with RAID in her hand :).. well if you want to meet old women in today's age you will have to go to a place where there are snakes that is if you find one.

The rate at which deforestation is happening & snakes are being killed to save the dainty women it will get harder to find that old woman today. Regardless how brave she is she will be afraid of the UNKNOWN & so will be a man.

Amusing is the way you called your friends wife as biiter half. Could not control laughter.

8:16 PM  
Blogger Soni said...

real women from today?!!

can we be free someday from the tyranny of sexism?!
btw, Byju, loving your articles....

8:53 AM  
Blogger Thanu said...

I think it has a lot to do with how these women were brought up. My whole life I grew up without seeing a snake other than the ones in movies and zoos...

so a site of a snake wud make be jump and run for my life. Be it a chera or a cobra I can not tell the difference. My mom on the other hand, grew up where there were lot of snakes. She can see a snake and say athu potte, athu onnum cheyathilla .

11:22 AM  
Blogger Injikadan Mathai said...

that was so funny man..the first part that is...grandmaa...whooossshhh...those were the days to remember...i miss her so much

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anand said...

"Bitter half" - phrase noted down for future use ;-))

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very best site. Keep working. Will return in the near future.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These modern day girls are too much. They should be put in Nazi camps then they will learn.

6:01 AM  
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