I witnessed a very unpleasant episode yesterday where I saw a very resilient and independent woman in a pool of tears. It was the most unexpected reaction from a woman of her ability and character that left me scouring for answers even in my sub conscious at night.
I would like to narrate the event to seek your help in probing answers to some pertinent questions.
I’ve known Megha for last 15 years as a quiet, graceful and an introvert woman. I’ve seen her gradual growth from a small street corner shop to a sophisticated showroom in an upmarket with a fabulous collection and a great customer base. She may not be overtly wealthy but the hard work put in by her has certainly helped her attain an honorable sustenance in the modern era.
I developed a lot of respect for this woman when it came to my knowledge that she was a divorced mother who resuscitated her life by working as a sales girl in a clothing store. The responsibility of two years old daughter instilled strength and perseverance in Megha who hailed from a conservative family where women were married off at an early age and accountable only for the maintenance of the household.
Driven as she was, she inaugurated her own small shop within a year. After toiling day and night, envisioning only for her daughter, Supriya’s, successful life, she managed to give new dimensions to her business. Her unique and sophisticated collection attracted niche clients and soon she upgraded to a glamorous showroom in one of the swanky marketplaces in the town. Megha was now a successful and independent woman.
Being engrossed in managing her business, left little time with Megha for guiding and supervising Supriya. While Megha was busy accumulating money for Supriya’s masters, Supriya was quilling somewhat different dreams. Megha heeded to all of Supriya’s demands in order to compensate for absence of fatherly love until one day when she had a face-off with Supriya.
Anant was a regular supplier of Megha’s business. He visited her showroom twice or thrice a month to manage his supplies. He secretly admired her and often asked her out for coffee but Megha, would always politely decline. Though Megha respected him for his courteous and caring behavior, she had also resolved to not to enter relationship with any man as it might affect Supriya’s upbringing. She did not want to surge the complications in her life. What Megha overlooked was the fact that Supriya was no more her little girl. She was now an adult and having been devoid of male affection throughout her life, she was an easy prey for any man.
Anant was interested only in Megha but when she repelled all his advances, he thought of taking Supriya into confidence to help him win Megha’s heart. Anant started giving special attention to Supriya and rained flowers and gifts for her. He would take her out for coffee after her college and chat with her for long hours trying to ascertain her mother’s likes and dislikes. It wasn’t long before Supriya developed fascination for Anant- not as her mother’s partner but as her own partner.
She realized that Anant had all the qualities that a woman desires in her life partner. He was loving, caring, outgoing, handsome, polite and well settled. In short, he was a great husband material.
When Anant approached Supriya with a request to convince Megha for their marriage, he was flabbergasted to discover Supriya’s feelings for him. He shunned her away by saying that she was an egotistic, ungrateful and immodest woman who was her own mother’s foe, a mother who had sacrificed her whole life for her daughter.
As maturity is also a produce of age, Supriya was inept at handling her state. She rushed to Megha’s showroom, which was packed with customers and confronted Megha in public. Megha, who was ignorant of the series of events, couldn’t rationalize her daughter’s conduct at once but a mention of Anant from Supriya’s mouth, cleared haze from her thoughts. Supriya blabbered all the melodramatic daily-soap inspired dialogues accusing her mother of meddling with her happiness.
Megha just kept staring at her daughter as if unable to recover from the shock of devastation. Once Supriya left, Megha cried her heart out, regretting that she wasted her entire life accumulating wealth for her daughter instead of teaching her values. She repented having lived her entire youth by herself to nurture a daughter who had fallen for a guy who was a father figure. She felt worthless and miserable.
I tried to console Megha that she did the best that was in her abilities and it wasn’t her fault but the Chinese whisper had already started and I could hear all sorts of chatter and verdicts around. People had been offered a gossip-mine to forget their predicaments. All kind of rumors flared up in minutes.
I was very upset as the events unfolded.
I was not certain who was at fault here and these thoughts kept me awake at night.
Was it Megha’s fault to have been unable to nurture her daughter in a socially acceptable manner?
Why do we have so many expectations from Megha?
Why was she supposed to carry the burden of harnessing a modest life for herself and her daughter alone?
Was she right in spending her life alone rather than remarrying?
Wasn’t she courageous to have been independent her entire life?
Why is a mother blamed for everything?
Is Supriya’s behavior really socially unacceptable?
Is it insane to fall in love with a man of your father’s age?
Why didn’t Supriya think of her mother’s happiness before self?
Was she truly accountable to payback for her mother’s sacrifices?
Who frames these rules of do’s and don’ts, especially for women?
Doesn’t each person have a right to live own life as one desires?
Why are we answerable to society for each of our actions?
Can we stop judging a woman’s morality all the time?