Behind the Mascara : Ajeeb Dastan Hai Ye

Gautam Sharma *

Inauguration of two-day International Women's Day observation organised by Manipur State Commission for women on March 8 2013
Inauguration of two-day International Women's Day observation organised by Manipur State Commission for women on March 8 2013 :: Pix - TSE

REALITY of many a woman is not 'fair and lovely'. Though we only see their eyes becoming more beautiful when darkened and thickened with a fine colored line to their eyelashes, with what you called mascara. But we haven't look into it too deeply inside, in a way to listen and feel the sensation of their unsung blues that hide behind the mascara.

She might be coming out from a roof where she does the role daily like a washing machine, rice-cooker, dishwasher, home cleaner, etc. or she might be living under the roof where she carry heavier weight of economy burden in her back just to support her family or just to help intervene from breaking her love ones' dreams. But who knows what she hides behind that mascara.

This is what my newsperson told me, it was on 'Ek-kadashi, Phiren-ge kun-tarukne panba', which is not a dry day in my calendar and in Gregorian calendar it was 8th March, in which many international communities across the globe observes the day as International Women's Day, a day to salute women, a day to show respect, appreciation and love on their accelerating socio-eco-political achievements.

And this particular day, 8th March, reminds me some torn pages of a book which tells about an event that brought revolutions, which sparked on 8 march, 1917 where countless numbers of women walked out and protested intensely against bread shortage in St. Petersburg that ultimately led to the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, which was something like an episode of historical 'Nupi Lan' of Manipur. Such event shows the strength of women and in the words of Shaggy, the Mr. Romantic, its just like 'So amazing how the world was made, I wonder if God is a woman'.

And as part of this thinking and celebrating community, we, --- me and my newsperson ---, cheers the day saluting every woman we met in our own life term. Because like you, me and this world of thinking being, donot salute and express gratitude everyday to women, as everyday is not a women's day like it seems.

And you may have also experienced the happenings showing that more concern is only being paid on this particular day, not every day. For instance burning panel-disco, speeches on women empowerment topics, photos exhibition, and brainstorming workshop session, quotes and comments of individual FB's uploads, etc in different medium and music concert is must, but all this vibrant spirit seems to disappear the following day.

But this is quite normal, it may also be happening in some parts in 200 countries around the world. And my newsperson also said in some regions, the day has lost its real flavor and became simply an occasion for men to express their love for women in a way similar to a blend of Mother's day & Valentine' Day.

Pertaining to this occasion, someone (Gloria Steinem) has rightly said, "the story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective effort of all who care about human rights'.

Yes, a concerted effort! And methinks, from grassroot level should start with women themselves. Socially, when a woman doesnot learn to respect another woman because of background, status, income or profession, then what is Women's Day for? When onlooker sees the divides and differences within women who can afford 'Vicco termeric' and 'no cosmetics' one, then the term and meaning of women empowerment will remain as a word without 'power to empower'.

When a woman themselves heighten the gap of rural-urban women, then the campaign of Women's Day will not be able to bear any fruit. When a fortunate woman ignores and hides behind the mascara, then many a woman will not become fair and lovely.

When this special day becomes only a day for celebration of few elites women and few other men, and few other facebookists, then the concert of the blues band will make no impact as the sound of pentatonic scale played by guitar cannot permeate to places of fringes groups, who stay marginalized within an invisible line and the beats of Indie humming outfits would not tell the policy makers about the unsung blues that hides behind the mascara. So it will remained as an 'Ajeeb Dastan Hai Ye', behind the mascara.

Newsperson: As a part of women's day, a KANLISH-HINGLISH Rapper today release a 2.0 Rap version titled 'Women: Are they stay as snug as a bug in a rug?' at Super-Duper Market of New Imphal. The release function was attended by Jiba, Panba, and Akhang-Ahei as chief guest, guest of honour, and president respectively.

When the media person enquired about the meaning of the title of his album, during an interaction session, the rapper replied that the meaning is not that simple to understand but correctly written in dictionary of idioms. He added 'I only can let you know after opening English-Manipuri dictionary because it's not written by me but by a friend who is well verse in English'.

Tagline: 'Deaf-person enjoys when the mute-person sings'

* Gautam Sharma wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao (English Edition) as part of 'Young Witty & Scurrilous'
This article was posted on March 11 , 2013

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