Behind every successful woman

There is an old Thai saying, “A man is the foreleg of the elephant and the woman the hind leg,” which on translation also means that behind every successful man is a woman.  Yes, we have been hearing this forever now. But what about a successful woman? Who backs up a successful woman?

Not surprisingly, behind every successful woman is also a man…her father, her friend, or her husband. A man who lets her lead, a man who lets her live her dreams, a man who is secured about her position in his life, a man who doesn’t tie her down, a man who understands that she is as alive as he is, that she has her own dreams, priorities and aspirations…and most importantly a man who is so secured and self assured about his own position in her life that he doesn’t feel the need to control or tame her to feel more like a man. He doesn’t need to impose on her to feel the false sense of power. Won’t you agree?

Look at any successful woman around you. No, you don’t have to go too far and look at the intimidating pin-striped-suit wearing women CEOs and MDs. Just look around you; at ordinary woman. Women, who have come a long way from where they started. Yes, those women who work hard to be successful in their own little way, in their own private lives, in their own little careers; be it their business or a job.

Would this have been possible if her father had never let her dream, learn or have thoughts of her own? Would this have been possible if her husband would have discouraged her from working, not believed in her talents and not really thought that she can add value and make a difference?

And just so we are on the topic, let me also add that just allowing your woman to work is not enough. First of all, “I let my wife work,” itself is such a negative sentence.  Who are you to ‘let’ her work? It’s her right anyway.

A man who really wants her wife to work:

  • Lets her decide which career she wants to pursue and not limit her options.
    For eg: I am ok if you work in a bank.  It is a very safe place to work. But working as an art director on a film set??? NO way, that is not possible. That is not safe.

    Meh….now what is that? Please let her decide where she wants to work. Show some trust in her. She is not a child, she can protect herself. You can’t limit her options and lay down few that you think are safe. Please don’t impose on her …let her decide. Because if you are being rigid about where she can work and where she can’t, then again you aren’t being any different from your orthodox forefathers. And if you are being so rigid, then please don’t take that burden of being cool, urban and open-minded husband also. You don’t deserve it.  It’s one thing to worry about her safety and another thing to restrict her mobility in the name of safety.
  • Shares her household responsibilities
    For eg: Dear, why isn’t the dinner ready ?I told you that you can only work if you can manage both home and work without slipping behind on home front, didn’t I?

    Whoa…seems like you are doing her a favour by letting her work. Then I request again please don’t take that pressure of being cool and modern just because you are allowing her to work. Because your behavior, attitude and actions haven’t changed a bit. You are still hung up on your old ways.  Just like you, she has had a hard day at work too. She is human and she can get tired too. Shouldn’t you be helping her in the kitchen instead of just bossing around and barking orders?

  • Understands that her career can also be demanding
    For eg: Have you seen the time? It’s 11 pm. Just because I let you work, doesn’t mean that you come home this late. Our kids and home are a big mess, do you have any idea? 

    No, no, no…I am not exaggerating. I have seen families who behave that way. May be not in the first world countries to that extent, but this sure does happen in many developing countries. Just like you, she has deadlines, she has to deal with work pressure too. She has to face office politics too. Just like you, she can have a longer working day than usual too. If you were truly supporting her career and her progress, you would understand this and probably keep a bowl of hot soup ready when she returns. She would be grateful to know that you love her, support her career, and understand its challenges…you love her and you are concerned about her meals and her health. That is called support.

  • Doesn’t let his family or parents ridicule her career 

    There are still many countries where the extended family also lives together, where the elders (especially men) mock the careers of the ladies, belittle them and ridicule their contribution. In such cases, its up to that good husband who has let his wife work, to also stand up for her in front of his whole family and show trust and confidence in her.

I am not trying to portray men in negative light here. If you thought that even for a second then you totally missed the point, didn’t you? In fact, I am saying that behind every woman who shines bright at her work place, is a wonderful man who loves her, who shares household responsibilities with her, who supports her even if that means going against the whole family, who truly lets her progress rather than just let her have a false sense of satisfaction by only letting her work somewhere he chose. Behind successful woman is that man who keeps his ego at bay, who is not intimidated or bothered even if his wife earns more than him, who is proud of her if she does, who is proud of her even if she doesn’t, who respects her passion and energy, who supports her initiatives in every way possible, who is willing to relocate if she is having a better career between the two rather than ask her to quit.

This blog is for all men in my life …father, brother, friends and now TCG who have supported me no matter what, who have let me have wings, who have stood by me fiercely…even in the face of adversity.

Without support of all you wonderful men, this would never have been possible. I wouldn’t be what I am today. Because you trust me, have faith in me; believe in my abilities, I am able to be more productive at work. And I don’t have to worry about being scolded at or being barked at once I get home. And I am really thankful and grateful for this. (Things I am grateful for: Reason # 4)

 

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For the love of jogging

Did I tell you that every evening at 5 I meet TCG below his office? His office is 35 minutes of walk from our home.  I jog to his office every day; it takes about 20 minutes to go downhill and 30 minutes to jog back up. This is how I get my daily dose of exercise and I love it. Jogging out in open as opposed to treadmill is the real deal. The feel of cool breeze brushing against your face, when you are all hot and sweaty, is a joy only someone who is used to outdoorsy exercises can tell you. Even back home in India, I used to go jogging every day, out in open…for a good 40-45 minutes. I used to live in a big complex, where I had the luxury of jogging my way to good health. .  People in the society used to know me as “the girl that jogs all the time”.. haha..Not kidding, I jogged everyday unfailingly, right till two days before my wedding.

Jogging feels so good, jogging clears your mind, and kicks in that endorphin which gives that all-good feeling about yourself and flushed red cheeks. It has been 3 days today that I haven’t jogged. The weather decided to play foul. It hasn’t stopped drizzling for the past 3 days. And I am one of those kinds who feel extremely guilty for missing a work out. For the past 8 years, I have been following some kind of the workout regimen or the other…gym, yoga, walking, jogging, cycling, floor exercises…I have done it all. And throughout these 8 years, I have had phases where I feel extremely guilty if I had to take short break from exercising for whatever reasons.

You see, I used to be a fat child. I have worked very hard, and literally slogged my ass out, to lose all the baby fat and to be the person I am today. When you have worked really hard to achieve something, you know its value in true sense.  I am someone who has been on both the ends of the spectrum. I am someone who has gone from being fat to fit. I know how lethargic and sloth-y one feels when fat…and I also know how active, agile and good one feels when fit. Do you blame me?

There are some people who have it all easy and who are blessed with superb metabolism. They can devour as many cheese burgers, milkshakes, ice creams, fries, chocolates as they want…without so much as putting on an ounce. And then there are some people like me, who put on weight even if they think chocolate. For us, it’s a constant struggle.

I am someone who is constantly thinking weight and calories. How much I fuss about weight is something all my friends can tell you. I am butt of all their weight/calorie related jokes all the time.

Picture this. We are all out in a restaurant. And by some freak incident, I give into the temptation and decide to order a chocolate milkshake. Next, I see 5 jaws dropping in front of me, I see 2 mouths making a big ‘O’ and at least one or two remarking, “Are you not counting calories today?” Sigh. Do I blame them? NO. Because the amount of fussing I have done about calories after I lost all the unwanted weight initially justifies their reaction.

So I am very happy to be jogging once again in NZ. I see oldies, well in their sixties and some even in their seventies jog with such an élan.  Their spirit to remain fit, even at that age, is truly inspiring. Dressed in shorts and racer backs, these few old ladies and men pass by me every day while jogging and smile at me. Their smile, energy and attitude are infectious. And I have also seen many ladies, well in their eighties, walk with so much ease and grace, it can put us young adults to shame.

Side note: Even at that age, the ladies here don’t step out without their makeup. Their hair nicely done, bright shade of lipstick setting their lips apart and a stylist pair of sun glasses perched snugly on their noses…and I love this spirit. Because I hate how I sometimes step out of the house myself…wearing pitiful rags and no makeup at all…only because I feel too lazy to take the effort. And then I wonder, what motivates these old ladies to be so prim and proper, even at 80. And I realize…they simply do it for their own selves.

So the point is, I have missed jogging. I want the rains to stop so that I can get back to jogging and stop feeling miserable about missing workouts and guilty about eating sinful foods sometimes.

And about NZ in general, I have made an observation. Strangers here are very warm and cheerful. You will almost always catch them smiling. The people on roads, the people in the markets, the people on the phone, and the people behind the cash counters in the stores…they are all extremely warm, approachable and happy.  They greet you, smile at you, help you, and talk to you very easily.  Isn’t that incredulous? No wonder then New Zealand ranks very high on the happiness index of the world. And not to forget, people here are also very health conscious and adventurous, age no bar.