I enjoy being a woman
I have no regrets being born a woman and I enjoy it. I like wearing lovely saris, jewellery, and enjoy dressing up. I feel sorry for men who have to stick to regular dresses with standard colours-dull blacks, awful greys and browns while I can dabble in glorious pinks, royal blues, bright yellows and the like.
Being a mother and now a grandmother is a role which only a woman can have. The thrill of getting pregnant, feeling the quickening and the movements of the unborn, delivering a baby and fashioning his life to the best of our abilities is a privilege only women can have. Men have to experience it from a distance.
My birth was welcomed by all around, my parents, and relatives. They fawned over my eyes, I am told. My eyes are a warm brown and it was predicted that I would become a saint!!!(Which I am not!)
Though my brother was born very soon and later my sister, I remained quite a favourite. Especially with my childless aunt who saw everything good in me till she died at the ripe age of 92. She would always speak positively and proudly of whatever I did. She lived in Chikmagalur, atop the Western Ghats where I had been born and would look forward to my annual visits with my family. She made no bones about her favouritism towards me, to the envy and jealousy of my other cousins.
In school I was the teacher’s darling. They absolutely doted on me and even when I did mistakes, I was awarded a lighter punishment than others who sailed in the same boat. I was made a squad leader or a class leader or a prefect which added to my happiness in being a girl.
During our last day in school, all wanted autographs of the teachers. My classmates pushed me to the forefront of the strictest and most dreaded maths teacher whom everyone feared. I hesitantly put my autograph book in front of her and she signed it after giving me a stern look. The entire class followed my lead, rushed and put their books before her and she had to sign.
Instead of blossoming I introverted when in college. I was quiet and shy. And when all the girls in my class swooned over a handsome professor I remained cool. Almost thirty years later I met him and when I told him I was a journalist and author of four romantic books, he raised his eyebrows and said, ‘You were never romantic in college”!! Which showed that despite my quietness and shyness, I remained in his memory after so many years when thousands of students must have passed through his hands.
There was one vacancy for a chemist and there were about 800 applications for the post. I was short listed and after three interviews I got the coveted job, to the surprise of even my own mother who did not know what was ‘so special’ about me! Maybe being a woman?
Though I was still shy, I had many suitors for my hand. My friend’s brother, my colleagues and so on. But they were from different communities and my parents were very strict about it. Happily I was not in the least involved in these romeos so I did not mind my parents’ diktats.
After marriage I was lucky to live in the UK for some time. Here I flowered, enjoyed and truly blossomed. My saris were appreciated, I was photographed and admired. After returning to India I became a journalist when my writings in newspapers and magazines were published and I was invited to join a newspaper. I had not even applied, nor did I have any experience but the job was offered on a platter and my career was made.
Being a woman gained me entry into several places; I could interview, collect news (not hard news) and manage my career. My reading habit made me an expert writer of fiction and I became a ‘romantic’ author, writing on the lines of Mills and Boon books.
My mind could imagine stories and being a woman I could write in a soft and gentle manner. I repeat, I am happy being a woman and enjoy my gender. I wonder how many women can say that. Maybe I am just lucky.
-Dr Veena Adige,