Women from cities are often perceived or tagged as notorious for being too modern. However, they have their connotations of the term ‘modern’. Mahima explores the meanings of modernity, as she sees it, in her weekly column, exclusively for Different Truths.
In my surroundings, I have always been tagged as being ‘too modern to handle’. And I will surely elaborate on the parameters of modernity set by the self-proclaimed scions of Indian culture to pen, me and the likes-of-me, down!
Yes, I’m modern and I do not regard it as a matter of reprobation. In fact, I’m proud of it!
I am modern because of the following:
- Self-respect and Dignity are Important
I was taught never compromise with self-respect. Being a freelance journalist as well content curator, it has many a time happened to me in the recent times that I show the door to my clients! Yes, I am very modern when it comes to doing this if they cross the line even once. Well, not a guessing game, 99% of these have been male clients.
In return, I am labelled as ‘too modern a woman’, ‘with dollops of attitude.’
Well, all you men out there who think a woman’s talent can be bought, you are mistaken. A woman is won over by dignity and not diamonds or a hefty pay package. The most precious jewel of a woman is her grace and self-respect. And she will never part away with it, even if she goes hungry a day!
- Self Believe
I’m who I am. Aware of my strengths as well as conscious of my flaws. I aim to rectify the latter as far as possible. Nobody is perfect. And I learn from my experiences and strive to be a better human-being with each passing day. But, I welcome suggestions only when they do not hurt my dignity. And I do not appreciate every word you will say. Also, I am not a ‘yes-person’ when asked for.
I am an in-your-face person, who loves to hear the truth as well as gives back the truth. So be careful, I am very modern at that!
- Free Opinion
Yes, I do not give a nod in agreement to everyone and everything. My upbringing has been done by an open-minded mother, who raised her two daughters like two lionesses. A lioness knows how to nurture as well how to tear apart when the need comes.
Thus, I have my opinion in life but I also am open to hearing others with a patient ear. Each person has a different ideology and it must be respected. But respect does not mean you can impose your opinion as dictation to me! Comparisons and irrelevant equations to do that are just too vague for me. And I will walk off if you again cross the line.
- Deserve Respect for Respecting Others
Yes, I have been raised on this basic principle of life. Respect is not something which can be commanded and demanded…whether at work or among family and friends. It is earned by the good deeds we do. I believe that respect in my words and actions is more meaningful than expressing it by touching feet of my elders a million times a day or for that matter covering my head.
I am not repulsive to the patriarchal rituals if someone follows them; to each his own. But I do believe that if a woman has missed doing it somehow and is otherwise being very respectful to the elders, she must not be reprimanded for the former so-called folly. Many of you will now be able to relate to the fact how modern I am and how backward few others are, right? Ahem, sarcasm!
- Audacity to Speak Out
Well, don’t expect me to be your sugar-buddy as I am not here to sell you candies. I like to be straightforward and precise most of the times, thus I am ‘too modern to handle’. And if you can’t handle me, ‘staying off’ is the only option you have.
Yes, I am modern because I’m cognizant of my duties and responsibilities towards my home. I am modern since I don’t consider my husband as a Stepney or boast off the diamonds he might buy me. I would rather buy a diamond and gift him for being a very caring partner that he is (and not just a bread-earner and boss-of-the-house as he is expected to be, by the society).
- Difference between Traditions & Superstitions
I love Indian culture, rituals, and traditions. But I do not submit to the rituals which make us regressive.
For instance, being married to a man of a different faith, we practice both the rituals, as far as possible. But I do not observe fast on Karwa Chauth to please the elderly women in my family. I do it out of love since he keeps 30 Rozas for both of us, our well-being as a couple, and our happiness as a family. So I keep one Roza that I call Karwa Chauth for his well-being! I am ultra-modern for my family, in this case!
- No Gossip
I do not have time to waste talking about others. And when you have to rise and shine, you don’t have time to waste on what others’ do, or join them.
In short, I am modern because I live and let live.
This article is a mirror image of the society and not just a few pages of my life alone. Dig your conscience after reading this; and if it pricks or arouses anger, in both cases you need some modernity in life.
Modernity is all about ideologies. It’s about changing and evolving ourselves with time so that we do not lag behind but without hurting others. Hurt has too many definitions in this modern world. So if you too are too modern to handle like me, be proud of the fact that you are in the minority!
Photos from the Internet
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A science graduate from Delhi University and MA in Mass Communication, Mahima began her career with E-Lexicon PR & Mutual PR and Hindustan Times. Soon, ANI (a collaboration with Reuters) got her aboard, where she spread her wings in TV, Print & Digital Journalism. In 2010 Rajdeep Sardesai’s flagship primetime show gave her, a dream job at CNN-IBN. From May 2017, she is a freelance journalist. She is a poet and a Sufi at heart.